Former KZN Premier Sbu Ndebele at the Durban Commercial court. Photo: Gcina Ndwalane/African News Agency (ANA)
Durban - Former Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele believes that his experience must be prevented from happening to anyone else in South Africa.

Ndebele was referring to the charges of fraud, corruption and money laundering that were withdrawn against him in the Pretoria Commercial Crimes Court on Friday.

“In a democratic South Africa this should never happen. It happened to me, it happened to Comrade Pravin (Gordhan) and the charges against him were also withdrawn,” said Ndebele.

In 2016, the National Prosecuting Authority withdrew fraud charges against Gordhan and his co-accused, the former SA Revenue Service (Sars) boss Oupa Magashula and former Sars deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay, regarding Pillay’s early retirement, which was approved by Gordhan and Magashula in 2010.

Ndebele was accused of accepting a R10million bribe, while transport minister in 2010, from Tasima, a company managing the Electronic National Administration Traffic Information System (eNatis), for the illegal extension of its more than R2billion contract. In 2016, the Constitutional Court found the 2010 extension of Tasima’s contract to be unlawful, but made no criminal findings on issues dealing with the alleged R10m bribe.

It was alleged that Ndebele and his co-accused arranged kickbacks in exchange for a five-year contract extension for the management of the eNatis system.

Ndebele’s co-accused were the former transport director-general George ­Mahlalela, deputy ­director-general Gilbert Thwala, official Tebogo Mputi, businessman Sibusiso Ncube and Tasima. It is not yet clear whether the charges against Mahlalela, Thwala, Mputi, and Ncube have also been withdrawn.

“I declared this in 2010. It was not a crime in 2010, 2011, 2012 and then all of a sudden in 2015, it’s a crime.”

Ndebele said what was most frustrating was never being questioned on the allegations levelled against him.

“I was never asked anything. I have been in and out of court since December 2015 and my matter has been postponed 14 times.

“This is not something that should happen to anyone, but when you build a name in the public service for 40years, it’s not good.”

Daily News