A warrant of arrest could also be issued with immediate effect. The Johannesburg Specialised Commercial Crime Court has postponed Wardle’s case to September 28 for inquiry over her constant failure to appear before court.
Wardle, who is currently out on bail of R10 000, was expected to appear in court yesterday on two counts of alleged fraud, but she was nowhere to be seen.
Her legal representative, Advocate Cronje Kriel told the court his client phoned informing him she was sick. On August 26, Kriel had also told the court Wardle had been booked off sick until August 27.
At the time, he said Wardle was suffering from hypertension and was previously hospitalised. But the State Advocate, Phuti Matabane had argued at the time that almost every subsequent appearance, Wardle was sick.
“I see a disturbing trend. The accused is here and the next thing she is not here,” said Matabane at the time.
Wardle’s failure to appear in court on August 26 led to Regional Magistrate Jansen van Vuuren issuing a warrant of arrest against her which was withheld until yesterday.
Kriel pleaded with the court to withhold the warrant of arrest until September 28, which was granted by the court. Similarly to her previous scheduled court appearances, a court officer called her name several times and she was nowhere to be seen, and Kriel alleged she was sick on two occasions.
Kriel could not produce a medical certificate for Wardle’s failure to appear in court yesterday. However, he produced a medical certificate for her failure to appear in court last month.
“If something like this happens again, the doctor will have to come and testify in court,” said Kriel at the time. Her doctor is expected to testify in court on September 28.
Eastern Cape police spokesperson, Colonel Sibongile Soci, also confirmed another case of fraud against Wardle which is being handled by Kabega Park police.
Soci said Wardle has been charged with fraud and she is expected to appear before the Port Elizabeth Specialised Commercial Crime Court today “in order for the suspect to appoint a lawyer”.