May 29, 2022

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Court dismisses unreasonable delay application in R191m ‘blue lights’ case

Johannesburg’s Specialty Court on Economic Crimes on Friday dismissed the request of some defendants in the R191m ‘blue light’ case to have their fraud and theft case delisted.

Former Acting National Police Commissioner Khomotso Phahlanae and former Deputy National Police Commissioner Bonang Mgwenya filed separate motions last November, asking the court to investigate the delays in their upcoming case, which began Thursday.

The Code of Criminal Procedure provides that if a court finds that the completion of the case has been unduly delayed, it may, among other things, order the case to be struck off the list if the defendant has not yet pleaded the charge.

The arguments were heard on February 17, March 11, and March 16.

Phahlane claimed the state failed to make full disclosures about the preparations compromised for his defence. Prosecutors denied that the delays were on their part.

The motion was dismissed by Judge Emmanuel Magampa.

Phahlane and Mgwenya are among the 11 people and one company , who are expected to answer charges of fraud, theft and obstruction or evasion of legal process.

The charges relate to a multi-million rand tender, the Instrumentation for Traffic Law Enforcement, the Vimpie Manthata company, was contracted to provide emergency lighting for police vehicles in 2016.

The state alleges that the accused police ignored a competitive bidding process during the procurement process, resulting in a $191 million financial burden on SAPS .R in favor of Manthata’s company in exchange for benefits received.

The contract was valued at R191 million. However, R65m was paid to Instrumentation for Traffic Law Enforcement. Another payment of R22 million was stopped as a result of the investigation into the matter by the Investigative Directorate of the National Law Enforcement Agency and the Independent Investigative Directorate of the Police.

Except for Manthata, Phahlane, Mgwenya and Instrumentation for Traffic Law Enforcement , the other defendants are former Gauteng Police Commissioner Deliwe de Lange, former Gauteng Deputy Police Commissioner Nombhuruza Lettie Napo, James Ramanjalum, Ramahlapi Johannes Mokwena, Thomas Marima, Maetapese Joseph Mulaiwa, Judy Rose and Samantha Andrews.

The case will be returned to court on August 2.

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