Pretoria physio calls for separate trial

2013-04-09 17:28

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Johannesburg - A physiotherapist accused of helping six labour officials to scam their department's compensation fund wants a separate trial, the Pretoria Magistrate's Court heard on Tuesday.

"The defence team representing the physiotherapist, Abel Diokana, requested a separation of trial," said department of labour spokesperson Paige Boikanyo.

Johan Crouse for Diokana told the court his client had gone into negotiations with the State to grant him a separate trial.

Magistrate Mariette Louw said she would consider all aspects of the request and ensure that no party was prejudiced in the matter.

The case was postponed to 26 April.

Boikanyo said the legal representatives of the other accused expressed their frustrations at further delays.

The department alleged it was not the first time that Diokana had caused delays in the case.

In September last year, the court issued a warrant for his arrest after he failed to arrive in court.

His lawyer told the court Diokana had been hospitalised.

The other accused are Maxwell Ramaphosa, Samuel Mfeleng, Kgabo Methi, Debbie Venter, Tendani Mukomafhedzi and Billy Ramskin, who are former employees of the department.

The group allegedly recruited Diokana to submit fraudulent claims to the fund, which provides compensation for workers who fall ill or are injured while doing their jobs.

They would process the claims and make out payments, which were later allegedly shared among themselves.

Read more on:    corruption

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