Winnie loses another bid to appeal conviction

The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) on Friday dismissed an application by Winnie Madikizela-Mandela for leave to appeal against various fraud convictions by the Pretoria High Court.

Madikizela-Mandela approached the Bloemfontein court in March this year with an application for leave to appeal after the Pretoria High Court had dismissed an earlier application for leave to appeal to the SCA.

The former African National Congress Women’s League (ANCWL) president wanted to appeal against her conviction on 43 counts of fraud and a suspended sentence.

On dismissing the appeal application in July last year, Pretoria High Court Judge Eberhardt Bertelsmann ruled that another court was unlikely to come to a different conclusion.

Leave to approach the SCA by co-trialist broker Addy Moolman, to challenge his 58 fraud convictions and four-year prison sentence, was also dismissed by the High Court.

The fraud related to loans obtained on behalf of non-existent ANCWL employees from Saambou Bank through brokerage firm Imstadt.

The loans were approved on the basis of letters on ANCWL letterheads signed by Madikizela-Mandela, falsely stating that the league employed the applicants.

The Pretoria High Court had found it was improbable that Madikizela-Mandela would have signed the 43 letters, as she claimed, without knowing their contents.

The High Court also pointed out that Madikizela-Mandela’s social standing and reputation had been irreparably damaged by her conviction and her political and social influence impaired.

”This constitutes severe punishment in itself,” Bertelsmann said. — Sapa

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