More delays in the R12m fraud trial of ex-rugby chef Cheeky Watson



Port Elizabeth – The trial against fraud and money laundering with the former Rugby boss from the eastern province, Cheeky Watson, and his three co-defendants were a problem when the case was postponed in the Port Elizabeth commercial crimes court on Monday.

Watson, Nadia Gerwel, a former assistant director of the Nelson Mandela Bay subway division, Zeranza director Andrea Wessels, and Mandisi Mkasa, a former director of Laphum & ilanga Transport Services, are facing fraud allegations and money laundering after a lengthy investigation into alleged fraudulent practices. activities around R12 million. The money was earmarked for the integrated public transport system of the coastal city (IPTS).

Watson and his co-defendants transferred themselves to the police in March last year. At that time Watson said that the accusations against him & # 39; malicious & # 39; goods.

They appeared in the courtroom Monday with an army of lawyers in court.

The lawsuit is expected to begin, but the legal counsel of the accused brought two applications with him.

Watson's legal team asked for his case to be separated on the basis that he was only confronted twice in comparison with the 40 or more counts of his co-accused.

Magistrate Lionel Lindoor, however, rejected the application and said that it would not be in the interest of the judge to award Watson a probation of the probation.

Meanwhile, lawyers representing Mkasa, Wessels and the Zeranza company requested a postponement claiming that excellent documentation was available in the case files that were presented to them.

Lindoor granted them a postponement until 2 October to enable them to complete the latest documentation and to prepare for the lawsuit.

It is alleged that Wessels had a conspiracy with Gerwel to cheat the subway in a way that would give them illegal access to IPTS funds.

The state claims that Gerwel and Wessels have used an event management company as a vehicle to launder money.

But when that company was no longer viable, they turned to Access Management, a company that was active in Nelson Mandela Bay, and then to EP Rugby.

According to court records, close to R3 million would be money laundering on the bank accounts of Access, EP Rugby and Zeranza – through Watson, Gerwel and Wessels acting in concert.

In 2007, National Treasury approved a budget of R208 million for the improvement of the IPTS system.

The multi-million rand IPTS is considered the largest corruption scandal in the city.

The trial is expected to be heard in December.

African news agency / ANA


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