Durban - Flamboyant and politically-connected Durban businessman Mabheleni Ntuli, known for throwing lavish A-list parties and hosting one of the biggest marquees at the Durban July, is accused number 9 in the North Sea Jazz Festival case.
As per the indictment which came before the Durban Commercial Crime Court on Wednesday, Ntuli is facing charges of money laundering and corruption.
He was allegedly at a clandestine meeting which former Economic Development HOD Desmond Golding held with MPM and Soft Skills Communications 100 CC, before the former presented its proposal to host the festival to the department.
Says the State, on the day the department transferred R26 million to Soft Skills, R2 650 000 of that was transferred to another company, which in turn transferred R2 204 000 to Ntuli’s company, Super Size Investment 20 CC.
And, it goes on, in February 2013, Super Size made several payments totalling R1 million, to an attorney, on Golding’s behalf.
Ntuli is no stranger to controversy as he was also at the centre of the controversial multimillion rand tenders, awarded by the Mpumalanga government in 2013, for former president Nelson Mandela's memorial services.
Ntuli was allegedly paid R18-million by an events management company to supply infrastructure for memorial services for Mandela in December 2013 across Mpumalanga.
According to a Sunday Times report, Ntuli spent the money on luxury cars, jewellery and high end clothing, while some of it was transferred to first lady Nompumelelo "MaNtuli" Zuma’s bank account.
The businessman is a known backer of President Jacob Zuma, having donated generously to the president’s education trust over the years. He has also benefited handsomely from government tenders including a R30 million contract he received to arrange Zuma’s inauguration in 2009.
Ntuli could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.