Mohlala killed before stadium graft claim

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OMPHITLHETSE MOOKI

JIMMY Mohlala, the Mbombela municipal speaker, died before he had a chance to reveal graft relating to the building of the stadium in the town.

He claimed to have evidence that Lefika forged a government document and committed bank fraud to win the contract. He further alleged that the then-Mbombela municipal manager had connived with stadium contractors to steal public money. He also alleged that there had been corruption relating to housing.

Mohlala was told by the ANC’s leaders for the Ehlanzeni region to resign, but he refused. He threatened to file criminal complaints, but was shot dead at his home in Kanyamazane on January 4, 2009, before he could do so.

His wife was in court yesterday, but declined to comment after earlier agreeing to talk once proceedings were adjourned.

The allegations of housing corruption led to the manager being hauled before a disciplinary hearing. He was found guilty and fired in March 2009. The manager went to the Labour Court in a bid to overturn his dismissal.

City Press reported – and well-placed ANC sources have confirmed – that the party’s Ehlanzeni leaders instructed party councillors to reach an out-of-court settlement. The manager was paid a settlement amount of R1.5 million. The municipality said the agreement was necessary to avoid incurring about R13m in legal fees.

Mohlala’s killer or killers have yet to face the law. Charges against five men arrested after his death were dropped in January.

Police later arrested a Mozambican man, known as Josh, who, it is understood, alleged in an affidavit that a senior ANC politician and a personality in soccer circles had been involved in Mohlala’s death.

Mpumalanga police questioned him, but later released him due to a lack of evidence. – Additional reporting by Lebogang Seale.


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