BEHIND BARS: David Malatsi has handed himself in.

Barbara Maregele

FORMER Environmental Affairs MEC David Malatsi handed himself over to the Witbank Correctional Service Centre despite reports yesterday that he would be serving his sentence at a city prison.

Malatsi was found guilty of corruption in October 2006 in the Bellville Regional Court and was sentenced to serve five years in prison two months later.

His then co-accused, former Western Cape premier Peter Marais, was acquitted.

Media reports indicated that 50-year-old Malatsi was expected to start his prison term at the Goodwood Prison on Friday but failed to show up.

Yesterday, Correctional Services provincial spokesman Koos Gerber confirmed that Malatsi had handed himself in at the Mpumalanga prison.

“He (Malatsi) began serving his full five-year sentence after checking in at the Witbank Correctional Services Centre in eMalahleni at 8.30am,” he said.

Western Cape prison head Delekile Klaas said the ruling was made for Malatsi to report to Goodwood Prison which was the nearest at the time.

“He was living near Goodwood at the time of sentencing and in terms of the law you have to report to a correctional centre nearby,’ he said.

Klaas said Malatsi has been living in Mpumalanga for nearly two years. Department of Justice regional head Hishaam Mohamed said Malatsi was now out of their hands. “We handed all the documentation when he was handed over so it is now up to Correctional Services to decide where he will serve his term,” he said.

Two days after attending the birthday party of Riccardo Agusta on October 22, 2012, Malatsi dismissed an appeal lodged by a wildlife organisation against the project.

The ruling on the project which also removed its conditions was in favour of Agusta, the owner and developer of the R550m Roodefontein Golf and Country Estate just outside Plettenberg Bay.

The court found that Malatsi accepted R100 000 from the businessman to approve the development, despite environmental concerns.

The money was allegedly given to him in April 2002.

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