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Security company to expose ‘damning’ audio recordings

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The accused standing trial for the controversial R384 million security tender have made an application for the recusal of the presiding judge, following audio recordings that allegedly contain ‘damning evidence’ against the judiciary.

Claudius Peterson, Gert Renier van Rooyen and Steven Jonkers appeared in the Northern Cape High Court this week. Picture: Soraya Crowie

THE ACCUSED standing trial for the controversial R384 million security tender that was awarded by the Northern Cape Department of Health to Defensor Electronic Security Systems (Pty) Ltd in 2017 have made an application for the recusal of the presiding judge, following audio recordings that allegedly contain “damning evidence” against the judiciary.

The former HOD for the Department of Health, Steven Jonkers, along with two company directors from Defensor Electronic Security Systems, Gert Renier van Rooyen and Claudius Gerald Peterson, were charged with fraud and contravention of the Public Finance Management Act.

The State alleges that Defensor was not fully compliant when it was appointed and was not registered with the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA) when it was awarded the contract, where procurement processes were flouted.

The regional head of the Specialised Commercial Crime Unit in the Northern Cape, advocate Isaac Mphela, requested a postponement to allow the State to “respond appropriately” to voluminous documents.

He stated that he was taken by surprise as he was only made aware of the application in the Northern Cape High Court this week.

He indicated that the case would be handled by one of his colleagues.

“The matters raised in the application are serious and are based on an audio recording which the prosecution intends to authenticate. We have engaged with the National Directorate of Public Prosecutions in Pretoria in light of the allegations,” said Mphela.

He recommended that the cellphone and laptop that was used to record the audio clips be handed in, with consent, to the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation.

“The applicants prefer to have the gadgets be handed in, where a criminal case was opened in Bloemfontein.”

The legal representative for the applicants, the former Director of the National Prosecuting Authority advocate Shaun Abrahams, objected to the electronic devices being handed over to anyone who was not involved in the investigation.

“The devices should be handed over to the investigating officer in Bloemfontein,” said Abrahams.

Acting Judge Omphemetse Chwaro postponed the matter until October 31 and excused Jonkers from attending the proceedings.

He extended the bail of the other applicants.

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