Wardle lawyer throws in towel

FILE PICTURE: Brenda Wardle. Tracy Lee Stark

FILE PICTURE: Brenda Wardle. Tracy Lee Stark

An advocate representing convicted fraudster Brenda Wardle on two more counts of fraud has made an application to withdraw as her defence lawyer.

Yesterday, advocate Cronje Kriel told the Johannesburg Specialised Commercial Crime Court: “I was not properly instructed and I am planning to withdraw … in the next court appearance unless I am being properly instructed. I still need to verify a proof of payment with Nedbank.”

Wardle, a television legal analyst who is out on bail of R10 000, was expected to appear in court yesterday on two counts of fraud. But she was not present and Kriel said she was ill.

Wardle’s doctor was expected to give evidence in court yesterday, but Kriel said Wardle had informed him that due to the Jewish holiday, the doctor was unavailable.

“I sent an SMS to the accused and she indicated that the doctor will be available on Thursday,” said Kriel. On August 26, Kriel told the court Wardle had been booked off sick until August 27.

He said at the time Wardle was suffering from hypertension and was previously hospitalised. State advocate Phuti Matabane has previously argued that at almost every scheduled appearance, Wardle had been sick. “I see a disturbing trend.

The accused is here and the next thing she is not here,” said Matabane. On September 10, Kriel produced a medical certificate for the court to explain Wardle’s failure to appear on August 26.

However, he did not present a medical certificate for Wardle’s failure to appear in court yesterday, or on September 10.

The case has been postponed to Thursday for inquiry. Wardle’s bail of R10 000 could be provisionally forfeited to the state and a warrant of arrest issued with immediate effect if she does not appear in court, or if her doctor fails to come to court on Thursday. – vicky@citizen.co.za


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