Illegal marriages case delayed

The case involving a Bangladeshi man and a South African woman facing charges of fraud and corruption related to illegal marriages was postponed again in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court yesterday.

In a surprise twist, Bangladeshi national Abu Bokar, 35, and South African Nomabandla Mangezi, 43, who have been in custody since last month, were hit with additional charges of fraud and corruption by the Hawks when they arrived in court yesterday.

Prosecutor Melanie Hammett said the state was ready to proceed with the formal bail application for the first set of charges.

Bokar and Mangezi are accused of arranging illegal marriages between Bangladeshi men and South African women so that they could obtain South African identity documents.

It emerged in court documents that at least three women had come forward and reported to police that they were married off without their consent, although they had received a monthly stipend.

Previously, Hammet said the state would oppose bail.

Both cases were postponed to March 24, when the pair will formally apply for bail in relation to their initial charges and also to allow Bokar to consult with his newly appointed legal representative.

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