Durban - Former Lotus FM presenter Vikash Mathura was found not guilty on 14 counts of fraud and theft by the Johannesburg Commercial Crimes Court on Tuesday.

Mathura, 43, was accused of billing Ellerines Furniture R887 467.20 to his personal company, Shasim Entertainment Enterprises cc (SEE), a charge he denied.

Earlier, the Daily News had reported that Mathura was deputy managing executive of the Bears' brand, now liquidated, and was promoted in 2010 to group marketing executive. In July 2012 he was dismissed by the company.

Writing on his Facebook page on Tuesday, Mathura said: Today, as the Magistrate in the Commercial Crimes Court in Eloff Street (Jhb) read his verdict for just under an hour, not one journalist attended the court proceedings to report on the judgement that was being handed down. Perhaps, they anticipated the outcome. Or perhaps, they know that "not guilty" verdicts don't create the same sensationalism that ultimately sells their newspapers. 

"The magistrate described the State's case as shockingly best. He said that this case should never have even come to court! He went on to describe how unreliable and unconvincing most of Ellerine's and The State's witnesses were. Much of their testimony was riddled with contradictions...and/or blatant lies...and/or sudden convenient losses of memory. At the end, JJ and Simran burst into tears as the Magistrate looked at me apologetically and pronounced: 'Mr. Mathura, I find you NOT GUILTY on ALL 14 counts'.”

Daily News