Al-Noor orphanage: Manager wants seized assets to be returned before matter heads to trial

Children protest outside court in support of Al Noor orphanage manager earlier this year. (Jenna Etheridge, News24)
Children protest outside court in support of Al Noor orphanage manager earlier this year. (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

While the investigation into a Cape Town orphanage manager’s fraud and corruption case is complete, the defence has thrown a spanner in the works, asking to bring an application for the return of the manager’s seized assets in terms of Section 31 of the Criminal Procedure Act.

The 49-year-old Al-Noor children’s orphanage manager appeared in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court on Friday, where the State also revealed that it was still waiting for a decision from the director of public prosecutions on whether the trial would take place in Cape Town or Pretoria.

That decision would have to be taken at a hearing, at a date yet to be decided, given Friday’s developments.

The Cameroonian national, who ran the orphanage, faces a charge of conspiracy to commit fraud and three of contravening the Immigration Act.

The social development department removed 17 children from the facility after allegations of physical and sexual abuse. It coordinated efforts to reunite the children with their "immediate family" after the centre was shut down.

READ: Al-Noor orphanage: Manager's 'very existence in SA based on fraud' - State

A 26-year-old man, believed to be a senior member at the centre, is also facing various assault charges relating to the orphanage.

The general gist of Friday’s proceedings centred around defence lawyer Andre Johnston arguing for the return of the manager’s vehicle which was seized. He was told to bring a substantive application in this regard in early December.

Thereafter, a date for the hearing would be set.

The matter was postponed to December 12 for the court to hear the application.

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