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R50k ‘cold drink’ money got lawyer in hot water

Advocate Phuti Given Mothemane, a lawyer has appeared in Bellville Magistrate’s Court on Friday 08 September following his arrest on corruption charges. Mothemane stands accused of allegedly offering money to a prosecutor to influence the outcome of his client’s case. The incident, which occurred last year, led to the issuance of a warrant of arrest, subsequently executed by the Serious Corruption Investigation team.

According to Hawks spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Siyabulela Vukubi, Advocate Mothemane approached a member of the National Prosecuting Authority on September 23, 2022, allegedly offering him a sum of R50,000. Allegedly, the money was meant for the prosecutor to file representations favoring his client or make the State’s case disappear.

At the Bellville Magistrate Court, Mothemane was released on bail of R5,000. He is expected to appear before the Bellville Regional Court on October 9, 2023, for further proceedings. Major General Mathipa Makgato, the Provincial Head of the Hawks in the Western Cape, praised the officers involved in the arrest and emphasized that nobody is above the law. He further urged law enforcement officers to remain vigilant in rooting out criminal elements from society.

In a separate and unrelated case, another lawyer, Zeenat Mahomed, faced arrest in April of this year on charges of fraud amounting to R6.6 million. Mahomed, who was disbarred in March, stands accused of misappropriating trust funds when she was practicing as an attorney and conveyancer between May 2020 and August 2021. Alongside fraud charges, Mahomed is also faced with allegations of forgery, uttering, and money laundering. She was released on bail of R50,000.

The legal profession carries a duty to uphold the highest ethical standards, and such cases of alleged corruption and fraud are taken seriously by law enforcement agencies. Investigations into these matters are ongoing, and the courts will play a crucial role in determining the outcomes. We will continue to monitor these cases and provide updates as they develop.

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