Court refuses bail for accused swindler

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manlda lamba swindler

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Self-styled billionaire Mandla Lamba. Photo: Dumisani Sibeko

Self-styled billionaire Mandla Lamba’s second attempt to be freed on bail failed dismally in the Johannesburg High Court on Wednesday.

The man who claimed to be the country’s youngest mining tycoon was denied bail by the Orlando magistrate’s court in June last year after the investigating officer visited the two residential addresses he had provided only to find other people occupying them.

Judge Mathilda Masipa upheld magistrate Anton le Roux’s decision to refuse him bail.

One of the addressess Lamba had given the investigator was a Midrand flat rented by a girlfriend. Judge Masipa said Lamba had failed to “clarify the address issue” after the second address he had provided was found to belong to a certain Mr Moeketsi in Falcon Heights, Mooikloof.

“It is clear that the accused doesn’t have a fixed address which would make it easier to monitor his movements… The bail appeal is refused.”

She said Lamba – who had cited businessman Cyril Ramaphosa and his wife, Tshepo Motsepe, as his mentors in newspaper interviews – was a flight risk.

The man accused of swindling taxi owners out of hundreds of thousands of rand after promising to buy them new vehicles was arrested at Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton in May last year.

His trial has been set for July and he will be answering to charges of fraud.

The 26-year-old also faces a charge of theft involving R480 000, as well as a culpable homicide case that relates to a 2007 car crash in Roodepoort in which Wayne Greeff and his son Brandon, 8, were killed.

Lamba also claimed to be the owner of gold, diamond and manganese mines in SA, Zambia and Congo-Brazzaville, and said he had a doctorate in business administration from Unisa and a PhD in business philosophy from the University of Liverpool.

Lamba was not in court on Wednesday.

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