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The accused in the Nulane Investment fraud and money-laundering case, from left, Peter Thabethe, Limakatso Moorosi, Seipati Dhlamini, Iqbal Sharma, Ronica Ragavan and Dinesh Patel. File photo: Ziphozonke Lushaba
The accused in the Nulane Investment fraud and money-laundering case, from left, Peter Thabethe, Limakatso Moorosi, Seipati Dhlamini, Iqbal Sharma, Ronica Ragavan and Dinesh Patel. File photo: Ziphozonke Lushaba

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) is weighing its options after the Free State High Court granted discharges to the accused in the R24.9m Nulane Investment fraud and money-laundering case on Friday.

Five of the accused successfully applied for discharges in terms of section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Act. The five last month applied to be discharged from the first state capture case to be taken to trial.

Former Free State agriculture head Limakatso Moorosi, who did not apply for a discharge, was acquitted by acting judge Nompumelelo Gusha on Friday while her co-accused were discharged.

The accused are: Gupta associate Iqbal Sharma; Peter Thabethe, former head of the Free State department of rural development; Seipati Dhlamini, former provincial agriculture CFO; Dinesh Patel, Sharma’s brother-in-law and a representative of Nulane;  Islandsite director Ronica Ragavan; and Nulane Investment and Islandsite as entities.

Most of the documentary evidence submitted by the state was rejected by acting judge Gusha, who slammed the state for failing to obtain originals and presenting copies as evidence.

“We will be reflecting on the judgment with a view to determining legal avenues to explore. The outcome of this case has no bearing on our ability to prosecute other state capture cases,” said Investigating Directorate head advocate Andrea Johnson.

“We remain resolute in our commitment and ability to vigorously prosecute those responsible for state capture and corruption.”

TimesLIVE


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