Paper trail in Lazarus & Barnard trial under microscope

Solly Lazarus and Hein Barnard are accused of defrauding the unit’s secret slush fund.

FILE: In their plea explanation, Lazarus and Barnard refer to a sum of R35,000 being paid to a car dealer for the purchase of a quad bike. Picture: RSC Inc.

JOHANNESBURG - Documents, financial statements and transaction timelines have come under the microscope at the corruption trial of two senior crime intelligence officers.

The unit's former chief financial officer Solly Lazarus and subordinate Hein Barnard are on trial in the Pretoria Regional Court.

The pair is accused of defrauding the unit's secret slush fund.

In their plea explanation, Lazarus and Barnard refer to a sum of R35,000 being paid to a car dealer for the purchase of a quad bike.

The pair claims the money was paid by a 'Barry Marx' sometime in 2012.

But car dealer Jan Venter has testified that Marx resigned from the company in 2009 - three years prior to the period the accused referred to.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel has used this discrepancy to illustrate that their defence is impossible.

Advocate Estelle Kilian has now started cross-examining Venter.

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

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

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