Mabaso battles for funds

2011-05-30 00:00

KWAZULU-NATAL businessman Jabulani Mabaso and the co-accused in his fraud and corruption trial, Pamela Bosman-Zulu, appeared in the high court in Pietermaritzburg on Friday where their case was postponed to August 1.

Acting High Court Judge Yvonne Gcaba withdrew a warrant of arrest issued for Mabaso earlier this month when he did not appear because he was in hospital.

The focus fell on Mabaso’s financial position and his intention to bring an urgent application against the Asset Forfeiture Unit for the release of funds to pay for his defence.

Mabaso said this was delayed because he was able to raise enough money to pay for it only last Thursday night. He told the court he is “battling” for money.

State advocate Rema Mahabeer submitted that the system of justice is being “held to ransom” by Mabaso’s financial situation and that there will come a time when his right to legal representation of his choice would have to be weighed against the interests of justice and rights of his co-accused. Bosman-Zulu has complained she is being prejudiced by the delays.

Mahabeer said that since the previous hearing the state has considered representions made by Bosman-Zulu, but they were not successful and she will stand trial.

Before adjourning the case to August 1, when a new trial date will be set , Gcaba warned Mabaso that he must have his “house in order” by that date.

The pair are charged with corruption, forgery, fraud and money laundering arising from the award of a tender to Mabaso’s former company, Indiza Infrastructure Solutions (Pty) Ltd, which is now in liquidation, to act as an agent to supply books and stationery to schools.

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