Thursday, March 8, 2012

Police hunting R200m fraud accused

Police hunting R200m fraud accused
March 7 2012 at 11:15am
By Sharika Regchand

Pam Bosman-Zulu, the Education Department’s ex-chief financial officer, was warned by a Pietermaritzburg High Court judge on Tuesday that she would be jailed until the trial resumed if she failed to appear in court when required in future.

Bosman-Zulu is charged with fraud and corruption, along with businessman Jabulani Zakhele Mabaso, for allegedly defrauding the department.

It is alleged that Mabaso defrauded the department of R200 million by forging and inflating invoices from stationery suppliers while Bosman-Zulu authorised payment in return for kickbacks. She allegedly received R200 000.

Neither accused nor their legal representatives appeared in court on Monday, when the trial was due to start, prompting Judge Gregory Kruger to issue warrants of arrest.

On Tuesday, Bosman-Zulu and her attorney, Narend Sangham, received a tongue-lashing from the judge.

Sangham said that he had diarised the trial as starting on March 30, instead of the correct duration of March 5 to March 30.

Judge Kruger said it was not the first time Bosman-Zulu had not appeared in court when required to do so. On another occasion last year, she had failed to show up for a hearing and a warrant of arrest had been issued but stayed.

“You (Sangham) are not diarising the matter correctly and your client is not paying attention in court,” the judge said after Bosman-Zulu told him that she, too, believed that the case had been set down for the end of the month. Sangham assured Judge Kruger that he would diarise the matter correctly in future.

Speaking to Bosman-Zulu, the judge said: “This is the second occasion that you have not pitched up for court. This is a flagrant disregard for court proceedings and you are in contempt of court. If you fail to appear again, you will be placed in custody until the trial date.”

Meanwhile, the warrant of arrest for Mabaso remained active and prosecutor Wendy Greef said she had instructed the investigating officer to find and arrest him. The matter was adjourned to March 13. - The Mercury

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