Gary Porritt in new tirade

2011-03-19 00:00

“THE entire prosecution team is tainted … The National Prosecution Authority (NPA), the SA Revenue Service (SARS) and the prosecution team are in cahoots to cover this up. And you are busy assisting the state in this, my lady.”

This rant formed the basis of the latest application brought by Gary Porritt, accused of massive fraud in the high-profile Tigon case, to Judge Geraldine Borchers in the high court in Johannesburg yesterday.

“We want to investigate the fairness of the court case and the fairness of the prosecution bench,” said Porritt, former CEO of Tigon who, together with his co-director, Sue Bennett, faces more than 3 000 charges of fraud, theft, tax evasion and infringement of the Companies Act involving hundreds of millions of rands.

After Judge Borchers on Thursday lambasted Porritt for wasting the court’s time, he yesterday applied to have state advocate Etienne Coetzee and Jan Ferreira withdrawn as prosecutors of the case.

According to Porritt, Coetzee is being paid by SARS and Ferreira, “has fallen under Coetzee’s influence.” Both prosecutors listened to Porritt’s tirade with raised eyebrows.

Coetzee told the court he hopes to soon have an opportunity for the prosecutors, “to react in a correct manner to these libellous claims.”

Bennett said SARS is the main prosecutor in the case and that justice cannot be dispensed fairly if the complainant appoints and pays the prosecutor.

“That is the reason why we are bringing these applications to the court,” she said.

Porritt and Bennett were arrested in 2002 and 2003 respectively and a date for the hearing still has to be set due to the accused’s manipulation of the court’s system of applications and appeals.

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