South Africa 19.9.2013 12:43 pm

State refused Mpisane postponement

The State’s application for a six-week postponement so it could write up an indictment to have Durban businesswoman Shawn Mpisane tried in the high court was refused on Thursday.

Handing down her decision in the Durban Commercial Crimes Court, Magistrate Nalini Govender said: “I am not persuaded by the reasons of the State to grant such a long adjournment.”

On Friday, prosecutor Wendy O’Brien told the court the State was seeking a six-week postponement to obtain a forensic report, and to allow the deputy director of prosecutions time to examine the case documents in nine lever arch files.

She had said KwaZulu-Natal director of public prosecutions (DPP) Sophy Moipone Dinah Noko had authorised that the case against Mpisane proceed in the Durban High Court. Mpisane faces 53 charges of fraud, forgery and uttering of a forged document.

Mpisane, who is out on R100,000 bail, is accused of submitting forged documents to obtain Construction Industry Development Board gradings which were then used to win five public works department tenders worth R140 million.

Govender said the State had failed to take any action since Mpisane’s August 13 court appearance, when it was first announced by the prosecution that it intended taking the matter to the Durban High Court. There was no “satisfactory explanation” for the State’s inaction.

Govender said there was no justification for the six-week postponement requested by the State, and Mpisane would be prejudiced by the “inordinate delay”. The matter was adjourned to later in the day to allow O’Brien to take instructions on whether the case should proceed.

Sapa

 

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