PORT ELIZABETH, July 31 – The R1.2 million fraud case against Portia “Pankie” Sizani, wife of former African National Congress (ANC) chief whip in Parliament, was once again postponed in the Port Elizabeth Commercial Crimes Court on Monday.
Sizani was not in court on Monday and is apparently in Germany.
Her husband, Stone Sizani, resigned last year and was subsequently redeployed as ambassador to Germany.
In February last year, Sizani was found not guilty on five of the 15 counts of money laundering against her.
Sizani still faces 16 counts of fraud and 10 counts of money laundering.
She stands accused of defrauding the Eastern Cape Education Department out of more than R1.2 million by processing several fraudulent applications for Grade R teaching posts.
Sizani was the Early Childhood Development district co-ordinator at the time she allegedly appointed “ghost teachers” and pocketed their pay during 2009 and 2010.
The ECD provides for the appointment of Grade R teachers at Eastern Cape schools.
Sizani’s lawyers later brought an application for Magistrate Mputumi Mpofu to recuse himself, but the application was dismissed in November last year.
At the time, Sizani’s lawyers said Mpofu could be biased as his wife worked for the education department. However, Mpofu said his wife had stopped working for the department in 2013.
Following the recusal dismissal, defence advocate, Johan Wessels, filed papers for a review at the Grahamstown High Court.
The case was postponed until September 22 pending a decision from the Grahamstown High Court.