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Government official arrested for contempt of court

A department of Transport official is in hot water for defying court instructions to give evidence in criminal case proceedings for fraud in the Middelburg Commercial Crime court in Mpumalanga.

It is alleged that in June 2016 the main accused on this matter fraudulently used the Department of Transport letter head to source suppliers.

After the supplier bought and delivered the procured assets the, suspect vanished without paying her.

The victim waited for payment but nothing was received and subsequently enquired with the Department of Transport but was told nothing had been ordered by the department.

The matter was reported to the Middelburg based Hawks Serious Commercial Crime Investigation for further probe.

During the investigation the accused was arrested and later released on bail and she is still attending court.

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Witnesses were summoned and testified in court and only one potential witness from the Department of Transport was subpoenaed to come and testify but she would not budge.

Mpumalanga provincial Hawks spokesperson Captain Dineo Sekgotodi, said in a statement the investigating officer went to the department to serve the potential witness with the J32 subpoena to appear in court to give evidence.

“She then refused and told the investigating officer to take the subpoena back to court and throw it to the prosecutor as she was not coming. She further said that she is no longer interested in the case and the prosecutor should stop calling or email her anything concerning the case,” she said.

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The case was postponed to 25 July 2022 for her to appear in court but she failed to attend and the magistrate issued a warrant for her arrest on that day.

On Friday the-45-year-old official was arrested for contempt of court pending her first court appearance on Monday at the Middelburg Commercial Crime court and she remain in custody.

“There is no one above the law. The arrest should serve as a reminder to others that witnesses have an obligation to appear before court to testify and not their discretion. Any witness who undermine the court will become an accused,” Provincial Head of the Hawks, Major General Zodwa Mokoena said.

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