Case against alleged SSA theft mastermind postponed

(Picture: Supplied)
(Picture: Supplied)

Pretoria - The case against the alleged mastermind behind the theft of R17m from the State Security Agency was postponed in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on Monday. 

The State said there were outstanding cases which had to be verified before he could apply for bail. 

Prosecutor Matric Luphondo said investigations revealed that Albert Ramabele was apparently involved in four other cases.

"Since his arrest, police took fingerprints for a profile, but it has not been finalised. The investigations also revealed that there are two matters which we need to confirm," he said.

Luphondo said investigations found that Ramabele was using different names and surnames, which needed to be confirmed.

"Preliminary reports indicate he has used four different dates of birth. There is [an] indication of pending cases of murder and robbery in Groblersdal, theft and house breaking in Springs."

Luphondo says they couldn't confirm the cases with the various courts.

- Read more: Wanted 'SSA mastermind' battled to turn himself in, says lawyer

Ramabele was arrested on Friday when he handed himself over to police. His lawyer told News24 that he repeatedly tried to hand himself over to the Hawks, but no one was prepared to arrest him. 

Despite police releasing a photograph of him last week, as well as a reward for information leading to his arrest, his lawyer's attempts to hand his client over were apparently repeatedly ignored. 

Ramabele and his lawyer, advocate Sammy Mahlangu, showed a News24 reporter a series of text messages between police and the lawyer showing that he wanted to hand himself over.

On Monday, Marchand Kilian, who was standing in for Mahlangu, opposed the State's application for a postponement, saying they could have done their investigations over the weekend.

"The State is trying to play for time. We have been trying to hand over the accused since January 15," said Kilian.

He said there was no truth to allegations his client was using different names. 

Luphondo said they could only act on the information after the fingerprints were taken. He asked for time to confirm details.

The matter was postponed to January 27 to allow investigators to get the required information.

Ramabele remained in custody.

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