Motaung in court on fraud charge
Share this article:
Omphitlhetse Mooki and Sapa
KAIZER Chiefs manager Bobby Motaung walked into the dock, with manicured nails and a smile across his face yesterday to face charges of fraud amounting to R143 million and an alternative charge of theft of R1m – all related to the controversial R1.2 billion Mbombela Stadium tender saga.
Chatting happily with co-accused Herbert Theledi, Motaung’s relaxed and clean appearance hid the fact he had spent a night behind bars.
Some Kaizer Chiefs stalwarts showed their support for Motaung outside the court building.
“We are worried about him [Motaung] and that’s why we have come here, to show our support,” Themba Sibabane said.
Other protesters who gathered outside the court sang a different tune.
Wearing T-shirts portraying slain Mbombela municipal Speaker, Jimmy Mohlala, protesters held posters that read: “Who killed Jimmy?”, “What happened to Jimmy?” and “Stop corruption”.
Mohlala was shot dead in January 2009 after blowing the whistle on companies and individuals that he claimed were involved in tender corruption.
Mohlala’s family said the R50 000 bail Motaung was granted was not enough.
“It should have been R100 000 [bail], and if he is convicted he should be given 100 years in prison, since the death sentence is no longer allowed,” Mohlala’s sister, Joyce Mohlala said.
The State’s advocate, Patrick Nkuna, told the Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court yesterday that “the accused are charged with fraud, alternatively forgery. [They] allegedly submitted a fraudulent tax clearance certificate in relation to the Mbombela Stadium tender”.
He said it is the State’s case that the two directors at Lefika Emerging Equity had attempted to acquire an overdraft at a bank using a fake payment invoice bearing details of the Mbombela municipality.
“The accused took this payment invoice, went to the bank and requested an overdraft. The bank wanted to verify the origin of the invoice.
“The municipality denied knowing the letter… confirmed it was not issued by them.
“Even the signature was not of the official concerned,” said Nkuna.
Nkuna said the pair, along with a third Lefika director, Chris Grib, had acted in common purpose when committing the alleged crime.
Grib, who was arrested in Cape Town, was not in court yesterday and Hawks spokes-man McIntosh Polela said he would appear today.
In affidavits read out by their lawyers in court, Mo-taung and Theledi said they intended pleading not guilty and requested that they be allowed to keep their passports as they were businessmen who frequently travelled out of SA.
They were each released on R50 000 bail.