The case involving former PRASA acting CEO Mthuthuzeli Swartz, accused of stealing and selling a 42km railway line in the Eastern Cape, remains unresolved after four years and over a decade since it was first opened. The case has been marred by delays due to an appeal for further particulars, multiple changes in legal representation, and requests for the separation of trials.
Swartz and businessman Syed Mohiudeen face accusations of conspiring to steal the disused Transnet railway line between Sterkstroom and Maclear in the Eastern Cape in 2012. They also face charges of defrauding Cape Town cousins Adrian and Cedric Samuels of R1.5 million, which they paid pending authorisation to uplift and sell the rail line. The cost of replacing the uplifted rail is almost R59 million.
Despite facing investigation for six years, Swartz was appointed PRASA acting CEO of rail in January 2018, serving for just three months before being removed. The case has seen numerous postponements, bail hearings, and legal challenges and awaits a High Court review. The Gqeberha High Court has not set a date for this review, prolonging the case’s unresolved status.
These delays and procedural challenges raise questions about the efficiency of the legal system in addressing complex economic crimes and leave both the accused and the legal process in limbo, highlighting the need for swifter resolution and legal reforms in such cases.
Picture: X / Lesufi
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