Car dealer testifies at Lazarus/Barnard trial

Solly Lazarus and his subordinate Hein Barnard face charges of fraud, theft and corruption.

FILE: Solly Lazarus and his subordinate Hein Barnard face charges of fraud theft and corruption.

PRETORIA - A Centurion car dealer has explained the mechanism two senior crime intelligence officers allegedly used to defraud the unit's secret slush fund of hundreds of thousands of rands.

The details have emerged in the trial of the unit's former chief financial officer Solly Lazarus and his subordinate Hein Barnard which started on Thursday in the Pretoria Regional Court.

The pair face charges of fraud theft and corruption.

They've pleaded not guilty to all counts.

As a procurement officer for crime intelligence, Barnard facilitated the purchases of vehicles from a dealership in Centurion with an estimated R70 million.

Car dealer Jan Venter testified that he was asked by Barnard to set up a secret account which he believed was for covert operational purposes.

Venter says profit from car sales, bought through a crime intelligence front company, was then channelled into the secret account.

He says those funds were then used by Barnard and Lazarus to buy cars and motorbikes.

The trial continues.