Sylla Moussa has spent more than a decade trying to avoid being tried for allegedly defrauding Absa bank out of R40m. But a Times Select report says after 11 years of negotiations with the bank and the NPA, and most recently a bid to have the prosecutor in the case recuse herself, Moussa’s trial finally looks set to go ahead.

According to the state’s indictment, it was in 2006 that Moussa managed to allegedly defraud Absa using a technique known as ‘kite-flying’ or ‘cheque kiting’, using cheques as unauthorised credit.

Moussa previously told the Gauteng High Court (Johannesburg) that this was not fraud or money laundering, as the state alleges, but that he simply failed to pay his overdraft because of a lack of financial liquidity at the time.

Now he has appeared in the same court with his lawyer, Advocate Tumisho Phalane, to launch an application to have prosecutor Nerisha Naidoo recuse herself.

He claimed the state was involved in a dodgy agreement to drop the charges if he paid back what he had allegedly owed.

However, Naidoo argued that it was not up to the complainant to decide whether or not to prosecute an offender, as the state was of the belief that Moussa had committed a crime.

Judge Ratha Mokgoathleng agreed with this.

You can’t patch up criminal conduct after the fact. You can’t kill a person now, give his heirs R50m and expect the case to be withdrawn,’ he told Phalane.

Naidoo asked for two months to prepare for argument in the proceedings, with the case postponed to August as a provisional trial date.

Full Times Select report