Ex-advocate's bribery case postponed

2016-10-18 16:26
Magistrates court. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Magistrates court. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Bloemfontein - The case against a former Free State advocate who has been accused of corruption was postponed in the Bloemfontein Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.

The matter was postponed to November 1 for further investigation, spokesperson Captain S'fiso Nyakane said.

Karabo Tau was arrested in Bloemfontein in August after he was allegedly approached by the families of nine people found guilty of the theft of diesel, and racketeering.

He was then released on R5 000 bail in September.

The conditions attached included not being allowed to use the title of advocate or counsel.

Representing himself during his bail hearing in September, Tau said he intended pleading not guilty to charges of corruption, extortion, impersonating an advocate and conspiracy to commit an offence.

"I will vehemently deny those charges. I was even confused when I read about them in the media," he said at the time.

The families of the nine accused allegedly approached Tau for help to have them acquitted. The nine were sentenced in the Free State High Court in Bloemfontein last Friday.

Judge not arrested

Their families allegedly paid him R80 000. This was apparently a deposit for the payment of R500 000 meant for the judge.

Nyakane said the Free State Society of Advocates had disbarred Tau.

Tau denied approaching the judge or accepting money from the families. He said he only gave the families advice.

"The charges against me were designed to insinuate that the judge was corrupt. The State witnesses have implicated me falsely," he argued.

He told the court he should be released on bail because he had diabetes and needed to take medication regularly.

Prosecutor Johan Roothman, who was waiting to get cellphone records and bank statements, said he believed the State had a strong case against Tau.

When Magistrate Richard Lawrence asked why police did not arrest the judge Roothman said the director of public prosecutions had advised them not to do so.

The State said the judge had denied seeing Tau. Tau was facing charges in an unrelated corruption matter.

Read more on:    bloemfontein  |  crime  |  court

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