The R1.2 million fraud case against Portia “Pankie” Sizani, wife of former ANC chief whip in Parliament Stone Sizani, was on Friday once again postponed in the Port Elizabeth Commercial Crimes Court.
Portia Sizani faces charges of fraud and money laundering but was not at court for proceedings. The matter was postponed until August when the defence will finally present its case.
In February 2016, Portia Sizani was found not guilty on five of the 15 counts of money laundering against her. However, she still faces 16 counts of fraud and 10 counts of money laundering.
Following her acquittal on some of the counts, her defence team brought an application for Magistrate Mputumi Mpofu to recuse himself, citing possible bias because his wife had worked for the department of education.
Mpofu dismissed the application and the defence then took the matter on review at the Grahamstown High Court which also failed.
According to the state, Sizani allegedly defrauded the Eastern Cape Education Department out of more than R1.2 million by processing several fraudulent applications for Grade R teaching posts.
Sizani was the Early Childhood Development (ECD) district co-ordinator at the time she allegedly appointed “ghost teachers” and pocketed their pay during 2009 and 2010. The ECD programme provides for the appointment of Grade R teachers at Eastern Cape schools.
Her trial will resume on August 13.
– African News Agency (ANA)