Technicality sinks R29m card fraud case

2012-01-24 22:30

Cape Town - A technicality forced the withdrawal on Tuesday of a R29m credit card fraud case against a father, daughter and three others accused of scamming Standard Bank.

Casandra Barnard, her father Deon Barnard, and Christiaan van Wyk, Ebrahim Adam and Johannes Roos appeared before Magistrate Amrith Chabilall in the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court.

Senior State advocate Malini Govender, who heads the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Unit, told the court that forensic audit reports were outstanding in the investigation.

As a result, she was unable to comply with an earlier agreement to furnish defence attorney William Booth with a completed charge sheet and information from the investigation docket.

She asked for a postponement for the completion of the investigation.

Chabilall upheld Booth's objection to the postponement on the grounds that the State was bound by the earlier agreement, and ruled that the case be removed from the roll.

Technically, the ruling forced the withdrawal of the charge, and the five stepped out of the dock free people.

However, the door remains open for the State to re-institute the charge as soon as it is in a position to furnish the information required by the defence.

  • Jessica - 2012-01-24 22:52


      Boer - 2012-01-25 00:12

      Gosh thats what I call very lucky.

      Ingrid - 2012-01-25 00:33

      hahahaha Jessica, I was thinking exactly the same thing.

      Anthony - 2012-01-25 04:43

      They paid one of the best criminal lawyers in the country !!!!!

      GrootWitHaai - 2012-01-25 06:48

      Problem is that they can still be charged again later. Sorry for them.

      Lyndatjie - 2012-01-25 06:55

      I agree - somebody got a backhander to look the other way... INVESTIGATE THE SPECIAL CRIMES UNIT! You can either fire them for incompetence or charge them for accepting a bribe... Win-Win situation - we get rid of useless twits either wich way you look at it!

      Squeegee - 2012-01-25 07:00

      Lots of overeaction people. Wait and see. Reports will come in eventually. Charges will be brought, people will go to jail. The way the article was written makes it seem as if there was some sort of illegality. It takes time to do a forensic audit - especiall with such high numbers - probably thousands of transactions.

      Travis Vermaak - 2012-01-25 07:32

      Somones is getting their cut. Nothing new here...Its the MO of the justice system in SA

      procold2 - 2012-01-25 08:21

      squeegee,is it not possible that someone after being paid a back hander has got rid of the info that the defence needs perm and with out that the case is cold

      Gordon - 2012-01-25 09:29

      This is how someone I know got off a charge. In his case, he was approached by a friend of the prosecutor in Randburg, and paid R5k. The prosecutor then claimed he didn't have the documents, and also told the witness that there was no reason to attend as an admission of guilt had been signed. Case thrown out. Very sad for our judicial system and South Africans.

      Squeegee - 2012-01-25 09:29

      procol - read the article: "Senior State advocate Malini Govender, who heads the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Unit, told the court that forensic audit reports were outstanding in the investigation". Not missing, outstanding... This is SA - things take time, lots of time.

      Simon - 2012-01-25 11:00

      @Squeegee....not to mention the fact whilst there is a chance the report cold be mislaid due to nefrarious reasons the banks would not have destroyed or mislaid the original information upon which the report would have been drafted. I am so sick of of these forums just jumping to negative conclusions with absolutely no evidence of wrongdoing. If any of them cared to research Ms Govenders history they will see clearly how hellbent she and her department are on eradicating this type of syndicated crime.....Grow up people!!

      goyougoodthing - 2012-01-25 11:10

      Hilarious, Standard Bank has been scamming me, legally, for 30 years

      John - 2012-01-25 13:48

      No Jessica - if you are in trouble you hire William Booth (if you can afford to). He is easily the top defense lawyer in the country and wins almost every high profile case he takes on. If there is a loophole he will find it and exploit it.

  • Piet - 2012-01-24 23:00

    I've said it before (with the Selebi case) and I'll say it again...there's a special place in hell for lawyers.

      Mike - 2012-01-24 23:24

      Piet I can only imagine that with a comment like this, you've been party to a criminal or civil law matter, and judgement went against you. Just as in life whenever there's a winner in court, there's someone else not so fortunate. Come on now, would you say the same if you had needed the service of a lawyer to get you out of a 'tight spot' and he'd been successful ?

      Piet - 2012-01-24 23:55

      Mike, R29m credit card fraud is not exactly a "tight spot" Neither is taking bribes if you are the Police Chief of the country and head of Interpol. Neither is rape or murder. Sure everybody is entitled to legal representation, but it is just sick to see how criminals get away or get less punishment due to "technical" issues or procedures not being followed. I mean, do you REALLY believe Shabir Shaik is terminally ill??

      aardvarkie - 2012-01-24 23:58

      Mike, that's a pretty ignorant and bias comment based on assumption. What if it were true that Piet had dealings with lawyers - except it wasn't because he was fraudulent, but maybe his daughter was raped and the perpetrators lawyer got him off? Or his wife was shot? Or any number of other things? I agree with him, and no, I've never frauded anyone in my life. I did represent myself against a bull lawsuit of defamation though, and won before it even got to court. Who needs lawyers when you have brains :-)

      Boer - 2012-01-25 00:16

      Piet my wifes a criminal attorney she puts corrupt cops away for a long time in the US, maybe she would do a lot of people a big favour if she comes and work in South-Africa. YES.

      Mohammed - 2012-01-25 00:22

      Nelson Mandela is a Lawyer, so was Mahatma Gandhi. Just a thought.

      seanveritas - 2012-01-25 01:13

      @Mohammed - I wish I could thumbs up your comment more than once.

      Dirk - 2012-01-25 05:38

      Gandhi and Mandela? Confirmation of the original statement.

      Burtfred - 2012-01-25 06:24

      @Mohammed Lenin, JG Strijdom and BJ Vorster were also lawyers. So what's your point?

      Ben - 2012-01-25 06:55

      Piet, lawyers and politicians.

      louis.langenhoven - 2012-01-25 06:56

      No Lawyers! drink Black Isle instead

      Willem - 2012-01-25 07:34

      99% of lawyers give the rest a bad reputation

      George - 2012-01-25 07:47

      @ Louis That is Black Bottle

      George - 2012-01-25 07:54

      This is just another case of one thief steeling from another May the best thief win

      Newsreader - 2012-01-25 08:20

      Nope...Its another case of Black Lable!

      Merven - 2012-01-25 09:49

      @Piet, lawyers don't get murderers and thieves free, it is the other lawyers that don't get murderers and thieves locked up. Each court case got lawyers on both sides.

      stefanie.dutoit.Ash - 2012-01-25 11:16

      Piet, you moron. There is absolutely nothing strange about this matter or the fact that it was removed from the court roll pending the finalisation of the police docket. If you have ever seen the inside of a court room, you would understand that the court does not have the time (or the money) to waste on keeping to recall matters that stay on the roll if they are not yet ready to proceed. The accused has every right to request for the matter to be removed from the roll pending the finalisation of the investigation. Nowhere in this (admittedly poorly written) story does it state that the accused's legal representation demanded the removal. It sounds to me more like the Magistrate removed the matter from the roll knowing that it was a waste of time and money to keep stringing it along. It will be placed on the roll again once the docket is in order. This is a pretty common and simple thing to do in court. If you know nothing about how the court system works, I would suggest you best watch, listen and learn rather than making a fool of yourself by making stupid comments evidencing your complete lack of knowledge.

  • Zebelon - 2012-01-24 23:08

    Another case of a dysfunctional government.

      aardvarkie - 2012-01-25 00:23

      This has nothing to do with government, it's a bunch of fraudsters versus a bank.

      Active - 2012-01-25 06:51

      Aardvarkie, I think the justice system is failing due to appointments by our government.

      Eric - 2012-01-25 08:51

      What has this to do with the government. It is WORKERS that have not done their work by getting the necessary evidence. How can the magistrate proceed with a case if their is nothing on the table. It is WORKERS not producing

  • Call_Of_Muti_3 - 2012-01-24 23:10

    I do not know how Mr Booth sleeps at night. He knows that the gangster scum clients of his, reserve a portion of their loot from every heist, just for his services. For every genuinely innocent person accused of a crime that William Booth defends, he also helps set free a dozen specimens of human garbage.

      alexandra.nett - 2012-01-25 08:03

      What an uninformed statement you have made. Wake up and read the story properly and you will see it is CLEARLY THE PROSECUTOR who should be blamed......once again the State was unprepared.....go work for the would suit one another!

      stefanie.dutoit.Ash - 2012-01-25 11:21

      Alexandra, the prosecutor does not prepare the police docket, the police do. If you dont know anything about the justice system, refrain from commenting. The prosecutor can only present to court what has been handed to him/her by the police.

      stefan.vanderspuy - 2012-01-30 14:24

      These lawyers are like psychopaths - no emotions, no feelings, no conscience. I'm sure Mr Booth sleeps like a baby at night.

  • Marius Koen - 2012-01-24 23:17

    What? So crime does pay.

      aardvarkie - 2012-01-25 00:00

      Yup it does! Start a bank and learn how to steal money!

      casabanderas - 2012-01-25 00:40

      Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank, Give a man a bank and he can rob the world!

  • solverman - 2012-01-24 23:30

    Bugger this.... I am going into credit card fraud.... seems to be pretty much legal here in SA... sure beets getting up early every morning and sitting in traffic, paying a soon to be e-toll to get to work ... to pay taxes to support corruption .....

      Diana - 2012-01-25 10:26

      Am with you there, had my chipped card cloned and R20K withdrawn by some dude in Lima Peru, they tell me Std bank lost R1billion last year through fraud, but a lot of the problems are with information being sold internally, so you think you have a state of the art credit card, think again i don't recall letting it out of my sight but they managed somehow, so be careful

  • Kim - 2012-01-25 00:13

    Ouch, I am in the wrong business

      George - 2012-01-25 07:52

      Will that be Cash or card sir

  • Selwyn - 2012-01-25 03:46

    Lawyers are thieves with a licence to practise.They lie all the time, even when they sleep--they lie on the left and on the right side.

  • Roy - 2012-01-25 05:52

    The law sucks big time when people get off with this type of crime and murder. Why are the people who are supposed to stop this criminality not doing their work as required? Would seem that crime does pay if you cannot be punished.

      stefanie.dutoit.Ash - 2012-01-25 11:24

      Nobody "got off" here just yet, Roy. The matter was removed from the roll. That simply means that, instead of wasting time and money on the matter by having it in court every week, they are now going to wait for the police docket to be finalised first before they place it back onto the court roll. It appears most of the people commenting here simply dont know what they are talking about. Though ultimately News 24 is to blame for their poor reporting and the very untrue and misleading headline.

  • harley1 - 2012-01-25 06:01

    you go boys and girls anyone who takes the thiefing banks gets my vote the bastards !!!

      Vegi - 2012-01-25 07:12

      I agree with you, stealing from a thief should not be frowned upon.

  • Mandy Mc Donald - 2012-01-25 06:23

    @Selwyn. You cannot make such a harsh generalisation, not all lawyers are thieving liars.

      Gregory - 2012-01-25 06:46

      Please show, not name, SHOW, ONE lawyer who is not a liar............ If he or she exists, they in all likelihood aren't running a thriving practice. They are paid to take instruction and bend and break the truth to get their Client off, for very hefty fee's. Please show me ONE who does not do that............

      Deon - 2012-01-25 08:34

      He probably can not afford one, that is why he hates them.

      Merven - 2012-01-25 09:55

      Everybody hates lawyers until you are in shait.

  • Robin - 2012-01-25 06:44

    The Barnards et al must rot in Hell. The sooner the prosecution gets their act in order the better.

  • braamc - 2012-01-25 06:51

    The state not prepared/competent. Nothing new here

  • Koos - 2012-01-25 06:52

    My pa het altyd gese bly weg van polisie, prokureurs en prostitute. Hoe ouers ek word hoe meer besef ek hoe waar daai woorde was.

  • Comrade - 2012-01-25 07:04

    NAIDOO....Eish, how much was he PAID OFF!!

  • Vegi - 2012-01-25 07:09

    I have no sympathy for the thief bank. It is high time that someone beat them at their own game. I hope that members of the public have not been affected by the fraud though.

      Burtfred - 2012-01-25 07:30

      Oh Vegi is back. He has taken his morning doff pill.

  • Bennie - 2012-01-25 07:41

    Welcome to the banana republic!

  • Sharon - 2012-01-25 07:41

    Nail the bastards.............

  • SarelJBotha - 2012-01-25 07:41

    Amazing how banks try their utmost to take on these people, considering that they also have dirty hands. fact: Loans bring credit into existance, via the applicant signature.

  • spensaRoks - 2012-01-25 07:54

    my god...crime does pay in this god forsaken country...those stupid bunglers again!

  • padayachee - 2012-01-25 08:18

    Lol, Now they gota pay of the people off to find a way not to complete the investgation :D Those banks steal our money anyway... 29m is like petty cash for them. If those 5 people managed to hit a quick buck out of Standard bank without anybody getting hurt, it's ok :D

      padayachee - 2012-01-25 13:56

      Lol, Why all the dislike's?? I was just kidding, A crime is A crime, BUT atleast this one isn't a painful one to read..

  • Eric - 2012-01-25 08:48

    I want to say that if a case is removed off the roll it does not mean that they are free. What the magistrate is saying is that he does not want state money wasted by holding court case hearings and there is no evidence.As soon as the state is in a position with evidence etc. they can then serve a summons on the freed parties to appear in court. This is normally in the same court.The magistrate will then rule, based on states argument whether the case then proceeds or not. So they are not out of the woods by a long long shot.

  • stefanie.dutoit.Ash - 2012-01-25 11:09

    The matter was removed from the roll due to the State not being ready to proceed. How the f does News 24 end up with a headline that suggests the matter has been finalised? No case has been "sunk" here! As soon as the State's docket is in order, it will proceed with the matter. Reporting in this country is shocking. If you dont know anything about the justice system, you should not try and report on it.

  • blackjew69 - 2012-01-25 12:13

    And that children is why proper education is needed. Govermnent needs to spend better in its education system,Reimbursement system ETC, You cant expect a guy who went to university for 6 - 7years, got I.T degree(s) to be brought down by a policeman who is now a "investigating officer" who all he needed was matric certificate and a drivers license to join the force, or a prosecutor who got minimal results in LAW, and only person who could take him in was the Govt(minimal Payment). And with the money this guys "stole" they get themselves a lawyer/advocate who went to University and got himself Degree(s) in law and is now employed by a top notch firm who keeps refreshed via expensive law courses each year.

  • Mvikeli - 2012-01-25 12:16

    This is not a technicality, it is a lack of evidence

      stefanie.dutoit.Ash - 2012-01-25 15:24

      It is not a lack of evidence, you idiot. The matter has been REMOVED FROM THE ROLL, for the umpteenth time. The case is going to proceed as soon as the poice docket is in order.

      Mvikeli - 2012-01-25 15:31

      Excuse me for not knowing the law, I just assumed that if the case could not continue due to a forensic report not being available that would constitute a lack of evidence. How foolish of me oh wise one!

      stefanie.dutoit.Ash - 2012-01-26 16:45

      Well, perhaps if you dont know what you are talking about, you should keep quiet and listen. My point.

  • Leo - 2012-01-25 12:22

    the question should be, what the bank is doing to protect an easily scammed Product of credit cards.

  • rurapenthe - 2012-01-25 13:05

    No such thing as luck, only money :)

  • Mark - 2012-01-25 13:40

    Its a shame to see everything is done so half heartedly,by the folk that are suppose to uphold the law of this country.

  • Jannie - 2012-01-25 14:07


  • eddiebant - 2012-01-25 17:38

    In somebody's favour.Somebody knows somebody.

  • Jawa - 2012-06-19 07:21

    Who ends up paying for these delays? - the accused and the taxpayer. Failure to have a case ready for trail, after warnings given, should result in an immediate award of costs against the delaying party. The only winners here are the lawyers.

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