North West Health HOD and former Finance MEC fraud and corruption trial set for Wednesday

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The fraud and corruption trial against former North West Health Department HOD Thabo Lekalakala and former North West Finance MEC Wendy Nelson has been set for Wednesday by the North West High Court in Mahikeng. The two made a brief appearance on Monday.

They are facing charges of fraud and corruption. Nelson was arrested in October 2019, and was granted bail of R20 000 while Lekalakala is out on bail of R5 000.

On Monday, arguments ensued between the state and the accused’s legal representative when the state requested for the trial to be postponed.

Advocate Theo Moetaesi argued that they needed ample time to familliarise themselves with the content of the case docket.

Members of the ANC Women’s League in the North West chanted slogans outside court saying they were fully behind Nelson.

Acting Deputy Secretary Bitsa Lenkopane says Nelson’s charges are “a concoction.”

“The issue of comrade Wendy’s charges are a concoction of factional tendency that interferes with our justice system and we have just realised this week that a person who is very key in consolidating everything that goes to comrade Wendy’s prosecution – we have realised that the person has been fully identified to have been a shoplifter.”

Lenkopane added that they are also not happy with the way the African National Congress (ANC) suspended Nelson.

“We are going to fight those political decisions that were taken against comrade Wendy without following the due processes. To set comrade Wendy aside was unfair and unjust and just because of discrimination that she is coming from a position of being a coloured.”

Judge Ronald Hendricks ordered that the state must subpoena witnesses, provide lawyers representing the accused with documents pertaining to the case, and instructed them to familiarise themselves with the case docket, before Wednesday.

According to Nelson’s legal representative Advocate Cecile Zwiegelaar, the continued postponement is prejudicing her client who is already unable to pursue her political career.