Ex-advocate granted bail in corruption case

2016-09-15 19:06
Magistrates court. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Magistrates court. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Bloemfontein - A former Free State advocate, accused of corruption, was granted bail by the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, the Hawks said.

Karabo Tau, 39, was released on R5 000 bail, spokesperson Captain S'fiso Nyakane said.

The conditions attached included not being allowed to use the title of advocate or counsel.

Representing himself, Tau said on Wednesday that he intended pleading not guilty to charges of corruption, extortion, impersonating an advocate, and conspiracy to commit an offence.

"I will vehemently deny those charges. I was even confused when I read about them in the media," he said.

Tau was arrested in Bloemfontein in August. The families of nine people found guilty of the theft of diesel and racketeering allegedly approached him for help to have them acquitted.

Disbarred

They will be sentenced in the Free State High Court in October.

Tau allegedly tried to bribe a judge to acquit the nine. Their families allegedly paid him R80 000. This was apparently a deposit for the payment of R500 000 to the judge.

Nyakane said the Free State Society of Advocates had disbarred Tau.

Tau denied approaching the judge or accepting money from the families. He said he only gave the families advice.

“The charges against me were designed to insinuate that the judge was corrupt. The State witnesses have implicated me falsely,” he argued.

He told the court he needed to be released on bail because he had diabetes and needed to take medication regularly.

Prosecutor Johan Roothman believed they had a strong case against Tau. He was waiting to get cellphone records and bank statements.

When Magistrate Richard Lawrence asked why police did not arrest the judge, Roothman said the Director of Public Prosecutions had advised them not to.

The State said the judge had denied seeing Tau.

Tau was facing charges in an unrelated corruption matter.

He will be back in court on October 18.

Read more on:    crime  |  corruption

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