Magistrate grants Fidentia bosses R1m bail each

Lawyers for Fidentia chief J Arthur Brown and his financial director Graham Maddock were yesterday afternoon making arrangements for payment of the R1million bail that a Cape Town magistrate granted each of their clients.

Lawyers for Fidentia chief J Arthur Brown and his financial director Graham Maddock were yesterday afternoon making arrangements for payment of the R1million bail that a Cape Town magistrate granted each of their clients.

The two men face fraud and theft charges involving more than R200million from the Transport Sector Education and Training Authority (Teta), with other charges to follow.

Magistrate Eric Louw said in his bail ruling that the charges were "of a very grave and serious nature".

"This case is as big as it can get. White collar crime is the silent killer and saboteur of economic growth," he said.

Louw ordered that the pair surrendered their passports to the Scorpions, report to the police twice a week, and tell the Scorpions before disposing of any assets worth more than R100000.

He also ordered that they have no contact with Teta's chief executive Piet Bothma or its chief financial officer.

Brown and Maddock, who were arrested at their Cape Town homes a fortnight ago, had asked for bail of R100000 each. The state countered with a demand of R3million each.

Louw said that even if it was true that Brown's strong-arm men - referred to as "goons" in testimony in the hearing - had an intimidating effect, that he had five bodyguards and Financial Services Board investigators were being bugged, it would be difficult to find that any of these constituted a likelihood of danger or harm to any other person, such as a potential witness.

As for the state's suggestion that the two men might flee the country, the allegations against Fidentia first came to light months ago. - Sapa

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