JOHANNESBURG, March 22 (ANA) – The trial of a disgraced legal commentator, is expected to start in the Port Elizabeth Commercial Crimes Court on Thursday.
Brenda Wardle, 56, allegedly pretended to be a practising legal attorney and swindled an Eastern Cape family out of more than R500,000 to help an imprisoned relative of the family obtain parole. She faces charges of fraud.
On January 18, Wardle’s trial was meant to get underway but she brought an application for a postponement pending an application at the city’s high court.
The matter, which has yet to be set down, involves Wardle seeking relief against the Minister of Correctional Services for adequate facilities at prison. This in order for her to prepare for trial.
She claims that facilities at the prison are inadequate and untenable, which prohibits her from preparing for her criminal trial.
Wardle, who is conducting her own defence, was arrested in East London in June last year after evading court for more than a year.
According to the State, during April 2009 and August 2013, Wardle was paid R538,766 to assist Stephanus van Aardt for his early release on parole.
According to the indictment, Wardle “falsely and with intent to defraud gave out and pretended to Van Aardt” that she was an attorney and she would bring an application for his early release. The State alleges that Van Aardt, an Eastern Cape dairy farmer in Somerset East, was not eligible to have his term of imprisonment converted.