Half-a-million rand bail for corruption accused

2012-03-19 00:00

CORRUPTION and fraud accused, Jabulani Mabaso has been granted bail of R500 000 by acting high court judge Kobus Booyens.

This was despite protests by Mabaso’s lawyers, who submitted that such a high sum might be tantamount to refusing him bail.

Johannesburg attorney Eddie Classen had suggested that the court should consider imposing R30 000 bail on Mabaso — the same amount granted to his co-accused, Pam Bosman-Zulu.

Classen said all Mabaso’s assets worth around R50 million are already under restraint by the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU), and if he fails to stand trial he will lose every­thing.

“The accused has much to lose by absconding and every­thing to gain if he stands trial and is acquitted,” he said.

He said Mabaso is currently earning R40 000 per month as a businessman and consultant (for LTSM Supply Chain Solutions). He is attempting to save what money he can to pay for his chosen defence advocates, and is engaged in a battle with the AFU for the release of some funds to help pay for his defence.

However, Acting Judge Booyens said in view of the seriousness of the charges levelled at Mabaso involving fraud and corruption of around R200 million, a substantial amount was appropriate.

He halved the initial R1 million bail, which has already been declared forfeit to the state by Judge Gregory Kruger following Mabaso’s failure to present himself for trial on March 5.

Booyens said he was persuaded to grant Mabaso bail, on Friday, largely because the state was not opposed to his release.

State advocate Wendy Greef said the prosecution did not fear that Mabaso would abscond, their main complaint was that he was trying to delay the proceedings.

The state also did not object to his being allowed to travel overseas for work as he had previously been overseas and returned.

Acting Judge Booyens ordered that no policeman may vary or waive any of Mabaso’s bail conditions — such as when he needs to travel — and ordered him to get written permission from the Director of Public Prosecutions when it is required.

*Mabaso may appeal in future to the supreme court of appeals against Judge Kruger’s decision to forfeit his R1 000 000 bail to the state.

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