Joe Singh

JOHANNESBURG - Embattled Just Coal CEO and pastor Joe Singh’s legal woes have a turn for the worst as a docket of in which he is accused of fraud has been submitted to the  Director of Public Prosecutions in Pretoria (DPP) to be considered for prosecution.

Fraud cases against Singh were opened at the Witbank Police Station and Sinoville Commercial Crimes Unit. The cases were registered under Sinoville CAS 305/12/2015 – Fraud pertaining to Finishing Touch and Witbank CAS 961/02/2016 – Fraud linked to Lahleni Lakes. 

Singh, who previously admitted that he paid the ANC Youth League half a million rand to score political favours, is accused of forgery of documents which he used ouster his former business partner, Ralston Smith.

Contacted for comment, Regional Court Supervisor in Witbank Anna Steyn, said: “This matter is investigated by W/O Rossouw from fraud branch. This matter was discussed with me. The matter was subsequently forwarded to the DPP office (SCCU) in Pretoria for further handling.”

Detective Warrant Officer Albertus Rossouw confirmed on Sunday said: “The matter has been referred to Pretoria, but I cannot discuss further as I am retiring in two months’ time. You can check with whoever has been appointed to handle the matter, I don’t know which detective has been assigned the matter.”

Mpumalanga spokesperson for the director of prosecutions, Monica Nyuswa, said there were investigations of fraud against Singh.

Singh isn’t new to controversy, in recent months he has been embroiled in a myriad of scandals.

Last month, Judge Christelle Bassoon ruled against Singh saying the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) could intervene on behalf of business owners who claim their companies have been "hijacked".

Singh had approached the high court in 2016 to interdict the CIPC from questioning him about claims by Johannesburg-based businessman Ralston Smith, that he stole two of his companies Finishing Touch Trading 204 and Lahleni Lakes.

In her judgment, Justice Bassoon on Monday said CIPC has a statutory obligation to maintain "accurate, up-to-date and relevant information concerning companies”.

She said: “CIPC is not time-barred from investigating the complaints in terms of Section 219(1) of the Act in that the fraudulent removal of Smith as a director of Lahleni and Finishing Touch constitutes a continuing wrong”.

In another matter, Eskom is demanding R6.2 billion from Singh after his firm Just Coal supplied the power utility’s Tutuka Power Station with sub-optimal coal worth R5.8 billion.

The poor-quality coal put the operations of Tutuka Power Staton at risk. Eskom has since cancelled the supply contract with Just Coal.

Although Singh was not taking calls, when asked about the matter Just Coal COO Peer Erasmus said: "I have no idea of what's happening with the case."

- African News Agency (ANA)