The Pretoria Magistrate’s Court has granted Mpumalanga acting head of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Matric Luphondo, the Hawks’ Ayanda Plaatjie and Mpumalanga Human Settlement department head, Kebone Masange R20 000 bail each.
The three were arrested earlier this week on charges of corruption. This, due to an allegation that they offered to bribe a senior NPA prosecutor to drop fraud and violation of Immigration Act charges against Masange.
The state opposed bail arguing it has a strong case against the accused. Prosecutor Molatlhwa Mashuga argued that the trio faces serious charges. He says the state has a strong case against them.
Mashuga argues that there is audio, video and circumstantial evidence against the accused, adding there’s evidence that the accused followed the state’s main witness, days before their arrest.
Mashuga says this is a clear indication that the accused will interfere with investigations or even harm the witness.
Defence lawyer for Luphondo, Advocate Kamesh Maharaja, however, argued that it was in the interest of justice for his client to be released on bail. He says his client denies all charges against him. He also says Luphondo will abide by his bail conditions.
Adv Frans Mashele, who represents Hawks’ Ayanda Plaatjie, argued that his client is not a flight risk. He says releasing his client on bail will not disturb public order and peace.
Kebone Masange’s Stephen van Rensburg argued that his client is a South African. He says Masange owns property in the country and he has been charged under schedule 1.
Van Rensburg says his client will stand trial until the matter is completed.
The matter will be back in court on the 23rd of July later this year.