‘Snooping’ woman released on bail

A woman who was caught red-handed allegedly recording Hawks officials as they interviewed suspects in a perlemoen case, was released on R5 000 bail in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court yesterday.

State advocate Casper Kempff said the prosecution was not opposed to the release of Marchelle Blignault, who will also stand trial in the Port Elizabeth High Court in November on a racketeering charge.

In that matter, Blignault, 40, is accused alongside her ex-husband, Morne Blignault, of running a multimillion-rand perlemoen enterprise.

Blignault was bust at the offices of the Organised Crime Unit in Newton Park on Monday, allegedly snooping on investigators as they interrogated some of her ex-husband’s alleged employees.

Blignault, who is represented by defence attorney Alwyn Griebenow, is charged under the Rica Act, which prohibits the interception of a direct communication between two or more parties.

According to the charge sheet, Blignault dropped a suspect at the Hawks offices when she was observed “clandestinely recording what was happening inside the office”.

When she was confronted by one of the officers, the cellphone she was using to allegedly record the conversation was still in a recording mode.

Her cellphone was immediately seized and sent to the cyber crimes unit for analysis.

Meanwhile, Morne, a former nightclub owner, and his son, Morne jnr, are in custody in Paterson, where they face further perlemoen-related charges.

Their bail applications in that matter proceeds on Wednesday.

Blignault was warned to be back in court on June 6 after her case was postponed for further investigation.

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