Cheeky Watson hires Dewani, Shaik advocate in fraud case

Cape Town - Former Eastern Province Rugby Union (EPRU) president Cheeky Watson has appointed one of the country’s top advocates to represent him in his fraud and money laundering trial.

READ: Charges are malicious - Cheeky Watson

According to the HeraldLIVE website, Watson and his fellow accused - Andrea Wessels, Nadia Gerwel, Mandisi Mkasa and Stephan Pretorius - appeared in court on Monday, but the case was provisionally postponed until April 6 next year.

The postponement was to allow the legal teams to make representations to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

According to the Port Elizabeth-based publication, Watson’s legal team had instructed advocate Francois van Zyl to represent Watson, with the trial set to start on June 23.

Van Zyl successfully represented British honeymoon murder accused Shrien Dewani, who was later acquitted of all the charges against him without having to take the stand.

Van Zyl also defended Durban businessman Schabir Shaik in his fraud and corruption trial.

Watson and his co-accused were arrested in March this year following an ongoing investigation by the Hawks into money laundering and corruption of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality’s Integrated Public Transport System (IPTS) funds.

The accused face charges of fraud and money laundering following a lengthy probe into alleged corrupt activities around the R208m meant for the city’s IPTS.

It's alleged that money was channelled through Access Management, who were the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium operators.

Watson earlier this year stepped down from his role as president of the EPRU.