Fraud case against top Eastern Cape police officer delayed


Fraud case against top Eastern Cape police officer delayed

Malibongwe Dayimani | 2017-01-30 17:30:04.0

Image by: Gallo Images/Thinkstock

The fraud‚ corruption and forgery case against Eastern Cape Police communication boss Brigadier Marinda Mills has been rolled over for a day.

Mills‚ head of the Eastern Cape Communications Division‚ appeared on Monday at the Zwelitsha Magistrate’s Court after she was arrested and released on a warning in December 2015.

The charges against Mills relate to her allegedly signing off on a fraudulent travel claim submitted by a senior official in her office. In August an internal SAPS disciplinary committee found Mills guilty of negligently signing a travel claim without first verifying its legitimacy and contravention of Public Finance Management Act regulations.

Mills was retained in her R60‚000-a-month post despite being found guilty.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Tshepo Ndwalaza said the case was postponed to Tuesday because there was no magistrate to preside over the case. Ndwalaza said another reason for the matter to be held on Tuesday is that one of the three accused Keith Essau’s attorney was not prepared for the case.

“The second issue was that accused number three instructed the Legal Aid Board to represent him last week as a result the Legal Aid Attorney‚ Mr Nabela was not ready to proceed. We can also confirm that only the state; accused 1 [Nicole Brown] and 2 [Mills] were ready to proceed with the trial.”

A date for the start of the trial would be set on Tuesday by new magistrate James Fritz. Ndwalaza said all the parties involved including state witnesses have been duly warned about the changes and Tuesday’s court appearance.

Brown‚ a lieutenant-colonel at the Zwelitsha SAPS’s music Band Unit‚ is accused of submitting a travel claim of R3‚553.70 for a trip to Pretoria that never took place. Her direct supervisor‚ Mills allegedly approved the claim knowing that it was fraudulent.

Brown had submitted two fake invoices from Morningside City Lodge. Both invoices are dated five months after the fake trip is supposed to have taken place. TMG Digital/Daily Dispatch

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