A R500 bribe has lead to a 10-year imprisonment sentence.
According to Police spokesperson Christopher Singo, Ntate Manual Mabesa (53) appeared in the Bloemfontein Regional Court on Wednesday on charges of fraud, impersonation and perjury.
OFM News reports that the National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) Free State spokesperson, Phaladi Shuping, says suspicions about Mabesa’s qualifications arose in June 2014, after he allegedly offered a prosecutor a R500 reward for not opposing bail in a case where Mabesa was the defence attorney.
Furthermore, the unqualified Mabesa unlawfully represented clients who needed defence while charging them for services rendered, says Shuping.
Mabesa had simultaneously been busy with two trials when Advocate Johan Swanepoel from the Specialised Commercial Crime Unit noticed that Mabesa was practising illegally. This lead to a formal charge that was laid against Mabesa, revealing his illegal qualifications, says Shuping.
Shuping adds that upon investigation into Mabesa’s qualifications it was found that he had not only been practicing illegally but he also faked his qualification from the University of the Free State.
Magistrate Marina Voges sentenced Mabesa based on crimes he committed between March 2012 and June 2014.