Intaka charges withdrawn

By Drum Digital
01 October 2012

Racketeering and corruption charges against seven people, including two high-profile ANC politicians, were withdrawn in the Durban High Court on Monday.

Charges were also withdrawn against three companies.

It was announced last month that the province's acting director of public prosecutions, Moipone Noko, intended withdrawing charges.

The seven were linked to the sale of water purification plants to the KwaZulu-Natal health department, allegedly at inflated prices.

Initially 25 people were implicated in the so-called "amigos" corruption case, which was due to start on Monday.

Uruguayan businessman Gaston Savoi was one of the accused. Savoi's company, Intaka, allegedly paid bribes to ensure a contract to supply water purifiers and oxygen generators to hospitals, at inflated prices, went its way.

Savoi and former provincial treasury boss Sipho Shabalala, who allegedly received a R1 million donation for the ANC, had been part of the group who would have gone on trial on Monday.

The charges against these two, and several other people and companies, still stood. Their trial was postponed to July 29, 2013.

On Monday, charges were formally withdrawn against the speaker of the KwaZulu-Natal legislature Peggy Nkonyeni, KwaZulu-Natal economic development MEC Mike Mabuyakhulu, former KwaZulu-Natal health department official Yolisa Mbele, businessman Lindelihle Mkhwanazi, and attorneys Nozibele Phindela, Jabulani Thusi and Ian Blose.

Charges were also formally withdrawn from the following entities: Rowmoor Investments, Skyros Medical Supplies, and Blue Serenity Investments.

Judge Ron Mclaren said a new indictment would be provided by the prosecution by Thursday.

He decided on the postponement to allow the challenge to the constitutionality of some of the racketeering charges to be heard in the Durban High Court on December 11 and 12.

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