Tuesday, April 23, 2024

CMS accused allowed to communicate with cellphones

In previous court hearings, Clement Molefhe and Patrick Cole, the accused persons in the Central Medical Stores (CMS) multi-million pula fraud case, claimed that prison authorities denied them access to communications facilities to liaise with their friends and relatives.

The Sunday Standard has, however, established that the accused are, in fact, provided with such privileges.
The two, together with Jabulani Johnson, are the only persons out of the eleven accused, currently languishing in prison as attempts to proceed with the case hit a snag at both the Lower and High courts.

The accused persons, through their attorneys, Duma Boko and Dick Bayford, suggested that they were denied access to communication facilities, such as cellphones.

“Prison authorities do not restrict the accused persons from communicating with their loved ones. In fact, such allowance has been going on for quite some time. It, therefore, is not true that the accused persons are barred from communicating with their friends and relatives.”

Against this backdrop, Boko wasted no time and said that the matter had been “resolved and restored”.

For his part, Village Chief Magistrate, Lot Moroka, reiterated that the accused persons be afforded the communication facilities as stipulated within the parameters of the Prisons Act.

The accused stirred controversy at the last hearing when they claimed that there were irregularities and misconduct by prison authorities in denying them communication.

It was then that Phadu Solomon, the Deputy Director of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions, asked for breathing space to allow her time to consult and investigate the matter.

The CMS multi-million pula fraud case, in which an amount close to P20 million was swindled from the Ministry of Health by some department employees, in cohorts with others from outside, caught the attention of the public immediately it was detected last year.
Currently, some of the co-accused, whose names could not be revealed as ordered by court, is languishing in prison.

He is also helping the prosecution as state witness.

The case resumes on April 6th during which time the defence will be expected to fire from all cylinders to test his credibility as a state witness.


Read this week's paper