- The court chastised a former veteran football spin doctor and his wife during their bail hearing in R100 million fraud case.
- The magistrate said the couple claimed to seek sympathy, yet evaded arrest for four years.
- The court added that they even hid in a hotel during their attempt to avoid arrest.
"They portrayed themselves to be a law unto themselves. Now the court must listen and be sympathetic to their circumstances."
Magistrate Phindi Keswa spared no punches as she lambasted former Kaizer Chiefs PRO Louis "Sprinter" Tshakoane, 74 and his wife, Susan Tshakoane, 59, during her bail judgment in the Johannesburg Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Palm Ridge on Thursday.
Keswa read a lengthy bail judgment after the pair brought an application for bail on Tuesday.
Dressed in a Bafana Bafana jacket, Tshakoane nodded when Keswa delivered her judgment.
The court said the State was not opposed to their release on bail but requested a higher amount of bail.
Last week, the State mentioned that it was prepared to oppose the couple's bail because they were a flight risk and were arrested following a warrant of their arrest issued in 2019.
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"The State (Advocate Terrence Zitha) had a change of heart. Zitha no longer opposes bail after consulting with his superiors and the SAPS. The applicants brought bail through affidavits. The defence requested they be released on bail of R10 000," said Keswa.
The couple's lawyer Abrie van der Merwe said they were pensioners and couldn't afford more. He added that the couple's family members were prepared to lend them R20 000 for their bail.
"The reasons (brought by the defence) are still fresh in our minds. The court will not repeat them. The defence requested they be released on R10 000 each, which would be a loan from family members," said Keswa.
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"The State requested bail be fixed based on facts stated. The applicants bear the onus to convince the court that the interest of justice permits their release. The court relied on various decided cases (before arriving) on its decision. I ought to ask myself who is at fault, who is to blame.
"We can't blame them because they were in custody. Why was the investigating officer prevented from accessing the premises?"
Keswa added that before the investigating officer could access the couple's home in Norkem Park, he had to make prior arrangements with Tshakoane's brother.
"I have serious concerns about such an attitude. There are victims in this matter. They deserve the same protection that the accused seek. The court is guided by what the law says. The courts need to be given the respect they deserve.
"It can't be the reason (for bail to be granted) that they are old and deserve bail. When they disappeared in 2019, Tshakoane was 68, and he could have entertained the court. He is before me at 74 years old, seeking the court to bend. This also applies to his wife.
"We have complainants in this matter. The State and defence are of the view they won't evade trial. What guarantees do we have? I need to consider such before applying my mind. I've been informed they stand before me as first offenders,” said Keswa.
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The magistrate went on to state that at some stage, when the warrants were issued against the couple, they hid in a hotel and couldn't be found.
"There are sudden sufficient grounds that they are released on bail. Whether they will threaten witnesses, the answer is clear there is no evidence produced that the complainants are known to them.
"There is no evidence they can intimidate them. Whether they will tamper with evidence is at the State's disposal. The State said it didn't object to their release. Will we be serving justice if bail is granted under such circumstances?” asked Keswa.
The court added it was informed the Tshakoanes were willing to adhere to the conditions that would be imposed.
The court eventually granted Tshakoane R70 000 bail, and his wife R50 000.
The couple was to report to the Norkem Park police station every Monday and Friday between 06:00 and 20:00.
They are not allowed to apply for any travel documents.
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"You must both remain [in] the address known and confirmed by the State. You must notify the investigating officer should you change your address or wish to travel outside the jurisdictions of Gauteng.
"The investigating officer must be given 30 days notice before the couple wishes to travel outside Gauteng. They must stipulate reasons why they wish to travel outside Gauteng. You mustn't open new bank accounts except those known to the State.
"They mustn't have direct or indirect contact with any State witnesses known to them,” Keswa said.
The couple's son Louis Tshakoane Junior abandoned his bail application.
The Tshakoanes have been charged with fraud, theft, money laundering and contravention of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act.
Hawks spokesperson Colonel Katlego Mogale said the trio allegedly benefitted from the proceeds of the unregistered investment company Undercover Billionaires.
"Junior is reported to have participated in the presentations aimed at enticing potential investors with a promise of high returns. The number of investments tendered is approximately R100 million," Mogale said.
Junior was rearrested in Kempton Park.
His first arrest was in 2019.
"He was then released on R70 000 bail. He then made a series of appearances but later absconded. His rearrest resulted from a bench warrant for which he forfeited his bail," said Mogale.
The Tshakoanes are expected back in court on 12 July.