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Another legal blow for Magudumana as high court dismisses her bail appeal

Nandipha Magudumana has been dealt another legal blow.
Nandipha Magudumana has been dealt another legal blow.
Image: Frikkie Kapp/Gallo images

Dr Nandipha Magudumana's bid for freedom was dealt another blow after the Free State High Court on Tuesday dismissed her appeal against the decision by the Bloemfontein magistrate's court to deny her bail.

In September the lower court denied Magudumana bail, saying she was a flight risk and had demonstrated she had the “necessary means” and “know-how to leave the country” after her audacious cross-border trip with boyfriend Thabo Bester, an escaped prisoner, earlier this year.

Magistrate Estelle de Lange said “no bail conditions will assist” in ensuring she attends trial and Magudumana had failed to “satisfy the court that the interests of justice permit her release on bail”.

On Tuesday acting judge Melissa Jordaan agreed with the decision, according to the SABC, saying she didn't “find any error” in the ruling made by De Lange and it was the correct decision to take. 

This after Magudumana's legal representatives had argued there were errors made by the magistrate in her ruling, particularly around corruption allegations.

According to the SABC, her lawyers again argued there was no evidence of corruption or that she was a flight risk.

This was a rehash of the argument they made during her unsuccessful bail application, with defence advocate Frans Dlamini having previously said while Magudumana was charged with corruption, there was no evidence to support this in the charge sheet or in investigating officer Lt-Col Tieho Flyman's affidavit.

“The posture we are assuming is a posture that says 'we have evidence before this court'. This evidence is saying count three [which is] corruption and refers to R85,000. Nothing else in respect of accused No 1 [Senohe Matsoara].

“According to the charge sheet, count three refers to R40,000 and creates an impression there is R2.5m at play here,” he said at the time.

The high court ruling comes two weeks after the Supreme Court of Appeal decided it will hear Magudumana's appeal against the judgment that found South African courts retain criminal jurisdiction over her.

If she succeeds in her appeal, it could mean she would escape a criminal trial in South Africa.

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