Atwaru wants case halted

2015-04-23 00:00

LAWYERS for Msunduzi councillor and ­attorney Naleni Atwaru and medical doctor Terrence Govender will argue next month for the fraud and corruption case against them to be dismissed.

The two are due to stand trial in the Pietermaritzburg regional court on charges of defrauding the Road Accident Fund (RAF) to the tune of around R800 000 each. Atwaru was initially arrested in November 2011, but the charges were withdrawn the following year. She and Govender were then jointly charged last year, and have periodically appeared in court in connection with the pending trial.

After requesting further particulars from the state, Atwaru’s advocate Gideon Scheltema SC, last month lodged an “objection” to the charges as they are currently framed.

The basis for the objection is that the charges lack sufficient detail with regard to important aspects the defence maintains are necessary for Atwaru to adequately prepare for trial.

Scheltema will also argue that her fair trial rights have been infringed.

Yesterday Govender’s attorney Sergie Brimiah confirmed that he will also join the application, which is now expected to be ­argued before regional magistrate Rose ­Mogwera on May 14.

According to the state’s charge sheet Atwaru faces 34 counts, and Govender 30 counts, of defrauding the RAF by submitting false claims between 2006 and 2009.

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