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Porritt acts just like Zuma, court finds

Tigon accused gets leave to appeal withdrawal of bail.

Judge Ramarumo Monama on Monday found that former Tigon CEO Gary Porritt (66) is acting like former president Jacob Zuma by delaying his criminal trial “even when there is manifestly no prospect (of success)”.

Monama dismissed Porritt’s fresh bail application in the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg, saying his criminal trial has the hallmark of the “Zuma Principle”.

Porritt will, however, bring an urgent application in the same court on Tuesday in a further effort to regain his freedom.

Monama said Porritt was standing trial on extremely serious charges, including fraud, theft, tax evasion, contravention of the Exchange Control Act, share manipulation and the contravention of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act. It is estimated that several billions of rands are involved, Monama said.

Moneyweb earlier reported that the trial relates to the collapse around 2002 of the JSE-listed financial services group Tigon. Former Tigon director Sue Bennett is Porritt’s co-accused. She is still on bail.

In his ruling, Monama pointed out that Porritt was arrested in December 2002 and was days later released on bail. The bail was finally revoked in July last year, after Porritt failed to appear in court on at least two occasions. He has been in jail since.

Porritt (above) before his incarceration in June 2017.

The trial court refused Porritt leave to appeal the revocation of his bail and he petitioned the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) for special leave to appeal.

Despite a clear directive issued by the court as part of the case management process that he should wait for the outcome of the SCA process, Porritt proceeded with this fresh bail application on the basis of what he considered to be “new facts”.

Monama, however, found that there was merit in the state’s opposing argument that the fresh bail application was premature, would result in confusion and was, in fact, aimed at delaying the trial.

He found: “This application is an afterthought but, on the whole, demonstrates the strategy generally used by the applicant [Porritt] to delay the trial.”

Monama said the case has been on the court roll since 2006 and has been before the High Court, the SCA and the Constitutional Court.

He quoted the SCA from an earlier ruling in the same case. The court found: “ ….as has been made plain in this court and in the court and the one below, they [applicant and his co-accused] intend to employ every strategy available to them in order to delay the commencement, and thereafter continuation, of the trial for as long as they possibly can.”

Monama stated that the delay in this matter is totally unacceptable. “This case has the hallmarks of the Zuma Principle – to drag the case through even when there are manifestly no prospect” he said.

“These tactics have since become common place in our courts. The delay of some 16 years cannot on any platform be justified.”

He said about 17 judges have, in one way or another, dealt with mostly procedural issues raised by the accused. “The applicant is using the old well-known tricks to cause a delay. The applicant is now representing himself. He has dismissed the attorneys from the case and hopefully they will never reappear at any future convenient time.”

He said that the state has clearly listed instances when Porritt adopted a “negative and demeaning attitude” towards the bench and the prosecution. “Such tactics reflect negatively on our justice system and deserved to be rooted out,” he commented.

Outside court, Porritt’s attorney Frank Cohen told Moneyweb that the SCA has granted Porritt special leave to appeal the revocation of his bail. This will be heard at a later date by a full bench of the High Court.

In anticipation of the that hearing, Porritt will on Tuesday bring an urgent application to have the order of trial judge Brian Spilg, who finally revoked his bail, suspended. If the court grants this application, Porritt will be once again released on bail.

Porritt has lost a significant amount of weight since his arrest in June last year. During his last few appearances in court he however appeared well. He seemed to be following proceedings properly and was apparently able to participate meaningfully.

Porritt (above) on his way out of court and back to jail in December 2017. Pictures: Moneyweb

Read more on Porritt here:

Porritt averts contempt of court charge

Tigon: Milne plea and sentence agreement questioned

What Porritt, Bennett didn’t want you to see

Porritt: ‘Draw his blood and bring him to court’

Porritt ordered to apologise to judge in writing

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Most of Porritt hidden “wealth” is in large tracks of farm and grazing land. What about expropriation without compensation starting here! Wouldn’t that be a laugh! Divine retribution comes to mind.

That wouldn’t be “Expropriation Without Compensation” – That would be CONFISCATION for the financial damages caused to repay the victims who suffered at his actions. Totally legit – no need to amend the constitution here!

He has done everything he can to avoid sentencing. It is coming though and although he looks modest in that blue shirt, his prison orange will look so much better on him for such a long time.

Country Road linen – the prisoner-on-remand fashion du jour.

Monama stated that the delay in this matter is totally unacceptable. “This case has the hallmarks of the Zuma Principle – to drag the case through even when there are manifestly no prospect” he said.
“These tactics have since become common place in our courts. The delay of some 16 years cannot on any platform be justified.”

I cannot agree more with Judge Monama!

My view, as also extensively reported in the media since 2004 ish – Investec and Randgold (with their lawyers) are still playing this game against the Randgold minority shareholders that are suing them for billions (still the biggest unprosecuted crime in South Africa). Maybe they should now start realising that they entertained all their options…the main case is about to start….

like I said before…just postpone ( revoke ) his bail indefinitely…problem solved.

Porritt’s accomplice, Milne, served his sentence and is now out.
If Porritt had not adopted the JZ783 “Stalingrad Strategy” tactics he would not be asking for bail at this point.

Fortunately the judge sees through this BS.
He and Atol can console one another in jail

Love it that the judge has coined the phrase “the Zuma Principle” to describe constant attempts to delay the hearing of a matter. I’m sure this phrase will come up again and again in future, becoming entrenched in our jurisprudence, and I hope Zuma and his entire family cringe in shame and embarrassment every time it does.

Hope they’re feeding him Enterprise polony in jail.

Surely it is not possible for anyone to be as pathetic as Zuma?

Gupta brothers ducked, will this character not do the same if his bail application is successful, stolen money can buy anything, a backdoor exit through our porous borders, then South America or anywhere the Columbian lawyers suggest !!!

Most odd, the judge knows what he’s up to, but seems to be hamstrung as to countering the tactic. Come on “me Lord” pull out all the stops to bring an end to this tragic loss of life savings for many people.

Porritt should now deploy another one of Zupta783 legal strategies ….. insist on making “Representations” to the NPA as to why he should not be charged. That will take another year to sort out, during which time Porritt needs to contact Zupta783’s legal team for advice on further strategies, i.e. tricks to avoid prosecution. The aforesaid team are experts in delaying justice.

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