Port Elizabeth attorney and wife accused of fraud

Both out on bail

Phillip Masiza and his wife Tiny hand themselves over to The Hawks
Phillip Masiza and his wife Tiny hand themselves over to The Hawks
Image: Eugene Coetzee

Port Elizabeth attorney Phillip Masiza and his wife, Tiny Nomsa Masiza, who are accused of fraud and theft, were granted bail of R5,000 and R10,000 each in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court on Friday.

The couple are accused of scamming Port Elizabeth businessman Greg Billings out of R950,000.

Nomsa was placed under house arrest until the matter is finalised as she is also out on bail for another matter.

They are accused of participating in the fake sale of a house in Burt Drive and in the process conning Billings.

The house was allegedly owned by former ANC boss Zandisile Qupe. It is alleged that Tiny posed as an estate agent selling the house to Billings.

Money to the tune of R950,000 was paid into the Masiza Inc Trust Account between March and May 2017.

Prosecutor advocate Leigh-Ann Pillay-Selahle said the state did not oppose bail for Masiza, but however it opposed bail for Nomsa as she was already out on bail for another case.

Masiza's attorney Danie Gouws argued that a conversation had been initiated around paying back the money.

Gouws, who cited a Herald report, said the municipality was in the process of paying Masiza money that was owed to him.

"The Herald two days ago reported that the municipality intends to pay R1.9m; there has been acknowledgement of debt" Gouws said.

But Pillay-Selahle said any intention of paying back the money does not mean the theft did not take place.

"Conveyancing attorney and trust fund holders are supposed to keep the money in a trust fund. There is proof that the money was withdrawn from the account," Pillay-Selahle said.

The matter was postponed to February 4, 2019