Alleged Pistorius scamster drops bail bid

2016-04-12 11:37


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Pretoria- The man who allegedly tried to extort money from former paralympian Oscar Pistorius, claiming he could quash his murder conviction, abandoned his bail application in the Pretoria Commercial Crimes Court on Tuesday.

Tshifiwa Radzhadzhi’s lawyer Mpesi Makhanya declined to explain why they were no longer proceeding with the bail application. He said they were ready for plea and trial.

Prosecutor Willem van Zyl asked for a postponement to June 28. Makhanya wanted to know what information was missing.

“The postponement is for the cellphone data which has been subpoenaed and has not been received. It still has to be analysed, and from experience that takes some time," Van Zyl said.

During his last appearance, the court heard how Radzhadzhi, 33, allegedly impersonated a National Prosecuting Authority official and wanted R350 000 from Pistorius, instead of the R250 000 he was believed to have demanded initially. He faces a charge of corruption.

The court heard previously that the Mankweng Magistrate's Court had issued a warrant of arrest for Radzhadzi. It was not clear what this was in connection with.

When he was contacted by Radzhadzhi, Pistorius played along and contacted the Hawks, who set up a sting operation. Radzhadzhi was handed R40 000 and arrested next to the High Court in Pretoria on Friday, March 18.

Pistorius is expected to be sentenced in June for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. He shot and killed her in his Pretoria home on Valentine’s Day in 2013, claiming he mistook her for an intruder hiding in his toilet.

He served one-sixth of his five-year sentence for culpable homicide in prison. He was released in October last year to serve the remainder under correctional supervision at his uncle’s Pretoria home.

The State approached the Supreme Court of Appeal to have the conviction of culpable homicide set aside. On December 3 last year, the court found in favour of the State and found him guilty of murder.

Read more on:    oscar pistorius  |  pretoria

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