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    Dr. Eschel Rhoodie, the man who was convicted on five charges of fraud by a?

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    Dr. Eschel Rhoodie, the man who was convicted on five charges of fraud by a South African court on Monday (6 October), has been freed from prison. Rhoodie was granted bail yesterday (9 October) while he waits for an appeal against his conviction. Rhoodie was the former South African Secretary of Information, and also headed the country's secret propaganda department.

    SYNOPSIS: Rhoodie was sentenced to six years imprisonment for his part in what quickly became known as the "Muldergate" scandal. He was found guilty of misappropriating nearly one hundred million dollars (U.S.) of government funds for his own purposes. On Tuesday he was taken to Magistrates Court to sign his bail release forms. His bail was set at about one hundred and fifty thousand dollars (U.S.).

    One of the first people to see Rhoodie after his release was Dr. Connie Mulder - the former Minister of Information, and Rhoodies' boss. Also at his side was his wife Katie who flew into South Africa on Monday, (8 October) for her husband's sentencing. Yesterday (9 October) she told reporters that she wouldn't talk to them unless they pay "cash on the dot." The Rhodesia's are believed to be in serious financial difficulties; his bail is one of the highest ever set in South Africa.

    The conditions of Rhoodie's bail are strict. He cannot travel outside the magisterial districts of Johannesburg and Pretoria, and must report to police if he travels between the two cities. He must also report to the police daily between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. (0800 and 1800). A further stipulation was that Rhoodie should help police with their inquires into the now defunct Department of Information. His appeal against his convictions will be heard by the Appeal Court in Bloemfontein, probably sometime next year.

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    Reuters - Including Visnews
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