Trial of ex-attorney Betty Diale linked to theft of RAF funds to start on Friday
A former attorney who is facing charges relating to the theft of Road Accident Fund (RAF) payouts will go on trial later this week after her request for another postponement failed in the specialised commercial crimes court sitting in Rustenburg.
Betty Diale's new lawyer on Wednesday requested a longer postponement of the matter to allow consultation, but this was rejected by the court, which ordered her trial to start on Friday.
"Her attorney also indicated that they will be taking the Director of Public Prosecution’s (DPP) rejection of their representations to have charges against her withdrawn on review.
"The state has already provided her with all the necessary documents in preparation for trial. The state also hopes there won’t be any further delays recorded as the matter has been postponed numerous times," National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Henry Mamothame said.
Diale first appeared in court in 2021 to face six charges of theft amounting to about R700,000 allegedly stolen from the claimants. According to police reports, the Legal Practitioners Fidelity Fund received several complaints from RAF claimants whose payments were deposited into Diale's trust account.
The fund’s primary purpose is to reimburse clients of legal practitioners who may suffer loss due to the theft of money or property entrusted to an attorney.
Diale was practicing as an attorney during the alleged commission of the crimes between 2009 and 2011, and was subsequently charged with six counts of theft in June 2021. Diale was struck from the roll, preventing her from practicing as an attorney.
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