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Fraud trial against suspended SJC manager escalated, set for January 2023

Fraud trial against suspended SJC manager escalated, set for January 2023
File photthe Khayelitsha Magistrates Court on Thursday. Klaas faces charges related to fraud in excess of R730,000. (Archive photo: Mary-Anne Gontsana)

Xolani Klaas faces charges related to fraud in excess of R730,000.

The fraud case against the Social Justice Coalition’s (SJC) suspended general manager has been escalated to the regional court in Khayelitsha, Cape Town.

Xolani Klaas made a brief appearance at the Khayelitsha Magistrates Court on Thursday. Klaas faces charges related to fraud in excess of R730,000.

In June, a GroundUp investigation revealed that Klaas appeared to be using SJC funds to pay for furniture, household appliances, luxury clothes, watches, groceries, and expensive technology.

Klaas was subsequently suspended and SJC staff laid criminal charges against him at Lingelethu West Police Station. In July, we reported that Klaas had returned some furniture, purchased using SJC money, to the organisation’s offices.

During the hearing on Thursday, it was revealed that the police investigations are complete and that the trial would be heard in the regional court in January 2023.


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Arson attempt at Khayelitsha Magistrates Court

Meanwhile, in an incident unrelated to Klaas’s case, a fire started by an unknown man at the entrance to the court resulted in activities being suspended for the day.

There were screams and smoke coming from the security area. A few minutes later the building was evacuated.

“A man came in by the security area, started pouring petrol and set it alight. Luckily the security guards acted quickly and managed to stop the man and put out the fire. No one was injured,” said court manager Velile Yayi.

Cases and services at the court were suspended for the day. The court is expected to reopen on Friday.

Yayi said the man was arrested and the motive for the fire is unknown.

A witness said that before the man set the petrol alight, he was heard saying, “I have been coming to this damn court for eight years”. DM

First published by GroundUp.

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