Porritt is told: ‘One road, and it leads to your trial’

2011-03-09 00:00

“THERE is only one road and it leads to the trial”, disgraced businessman Gary Porritt was told yesterday.

Judge Geraldine Borchers ruled in the South Gauteng High Court that she cannot order the Legal Aid Board (LAB) to provide former Tigon boss Porritt and his assistant, Sue Bennett, with free legal aid, since they will not allow an investigation into their financial affairs.

Borchers made it clear that she is running out of patience with the delaying tactics of the accused, commenting: “I sometimes think one can choke on the Constitution.”

Porritt and Bennett indicated that they will appeal the latest ruling.

Borchers said the accused are using their rights to delay court proceedings.

In a protracted court case the accused applied to the LAB for free legal aid, but refused to complete the LAB’s form in which they had to indicate whether they are indigent as defined.

Borchers commented on Bennett’s good clothing, referred to her recent payments for an expensive heart operation, and referred to both accuseds’ multi-million rand trusts, saying she cannot find that they are not in a position to pay their legal costs.

Porritt, of Pietermaritzburg, a multimillionaire until five years ago and one of the most powerful businessmen in the country, and Bennett are facing 3 160 charges ranging from fraud and theft to tax evasion and infringements of the Companies Act potentially involving far more than R1 billion.

The charges against them run to 1 400 pages.

Porritt and Bennett were arrested in 2002 and 2003 respectively, and the trial has not been able to proceed since then because the accused have repeatedly brought new applications to court or appealed against rulings.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.