PRASA’s Swartz back in court in October

Hearing postponed again

Photo of court

Mthuthuzeli Swartz and Syed Mohiudeen are appearing before the specialised commercial crimes court over the theft of 42 kilometres of railway line. Photo: Joseph Chirume

By Joseph Chirume

9 September 2019

THE fraud and theft case against the former acting CEO of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) Mthuthuzeli Swartz and businessman Syed Nadhir Mohiudeen has been postponed again, to 11 October.

Mohiudeen’s name is usually spelt Mahuideen in the media (including GroundUp), but in this report we use the spelling in the National Prosecuting Authority’s charge sheet.

The matter is being heard in the Port Elizabeth Specialised Crimes Court.

Swartz and Mohiudeen are facing fraud charges amounting to R1.5 million. They are accused of selling about 42km of railway line that belonged to the state. The railway line runs between Sterkstroom and Maclear in Eastern Cape.

Eastern Cape National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Luxolo Tyali blamed the accused’s lawyers for requesting more time to study the docket saying they had collected it on the morning of the court appearance.

Tyali said: “The latest postponement can not be attributed to the state. They requested time to study its contents, hence the postponement to 11 October. The state is ready to prosecute the case.”

Swartz refused to talk to Groundup but his lawyer Mike Cherry said he was confident they would win the case. Mohiudeen was not in court.

Cherry said previous postponements were caused by the state wanting to add more charges against the accused. “The state has to give us a full docket with all the charges. I haven’t read it yet. This is why they granted the extension.”

The accused’s bail of R2,000 each was retained.