Top public prosecutor charged with fraud and extortion

2011-11-11 14:05

A senior public prosecutor has been charged with fraud and extortion, and appeared in the Protea Magistrates’ Court today, the National Prosecuting Authority said.

He was granted R1 000 bail and would appear again with his 14 co-accused on March 30 next year, spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said.

Yusuf Moosa Baba’s charges related to a bakery that apparently sought to eliminate its competition.

“The extortion charge relates to the alleged persuading of some Pakistani nationals who were arrested and detained under false charges to implicate a business rival,” Mhaga said.

“In doing so, he was allegedly in collusion with another senior public prosecutor, Andre ‘Lampies’ Lamprecht.”

Mhaga said Baba’s fraud charge was added because he and others told the National Prosecuting Authority their lives were in danger, and they needed protection.

“The National Prosecuting Authority carried the costs of protecting them ... but their lives were never in risk or in danger.”

Lamprecht, a former West Rand chief prosecutor, and Lenasia detective Moses Moshe Matsau is among 14 people linked to apparent false cases opened against business rivals of a man who ran the bakery.

Together with Baba, they face 42 charges, including racketeering, corruption, defeating the ends of justice, extortion and conspiracy to commit these offences.

Their arrests in October were connected to arrests made in September involving five policemen, a senior prosecutor, two attorneys and four businessmen.

Lamprecht was out on R5 000 bail. Matsau would apply for bail on Wednesday.

“We are disturbed that there is now an increasing number of our own prosecutors facing these charges,” Mhaga said.

“We will do all in our power to ensure that at the end of the day justice has prevailed.”

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