The National Federated Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Nafcoc) has welcomed the withdrawal by the NPA and the specialised commercial crimes court of “frivolous” criminal charges brought against it by former Nafcoc member Nkosana Enos Thobela.
Thobela has accused Nafcoc President, Sekwame Gilbert Mosena, aged 63, and Tselane Mary Baggot, aged 51, the director and company secretary of Silver Vanity Investments (SVI), of money laundering involving millions of rands meant for SVI members.
This was in relation to the R14m said to belong to the National Federated Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s investment arm SVI where Mosena is also a chief executive.
Nkosana Thobela, a former Gauteng Nafcoc Investment Trust trustee opened the case in 2019 after suspecting that the R14m, which had been paid by the department of public works to rent the Nafcoc-owned Pan African Parliament property in Midrand, had not been properly accounted for.
On Tuesday, in a case that has spanned five years, the NPA withdrew all the charges against Mosena and Baggot.
In a letter addressed to Ndebele Attorneys, the NPA says there was not enough evidence to support the claims made by Thobela.
“Your above representations dated 19 and 22 October 2023 bear reference. Please note that I have thoroughly considered the representations taking into account the contents of the case docket, the prosecutor’s report in response to the representations as well as facts and circumstances relevant the case.
“Having objectively and holistically considered all above, my overall view is that there is insufficient admissible evidence to support and sustain accused two. I have accordingly, directed the prosecutor to withdraw the charges against accused two,” the deputy director of public prosecutions said.
Mosena’s lawyers, Ndebele Attorneys described the charges as frivolous, vexatious and unjustified.
“The allegations against our client were not only frivolous, vexatious but unjustified, unfounded and lacked any merit in law and in fact, the criminal complaint against our client was lodged for nefarious and ulterior motives,” the lawyers said following the withdrawal of the matter this week.
In a statement on Thursday, Nafcoc welcomed the withdrawal of the “feeble and foible” charges against its President.
“These feeble and foible charges levelled against Mr Mosena stemmed from a criminal complaint lodged by an individual long expelled from NAFCOC’s affiliated sector –National Industrial Chamber (NIC), namely, Mr Nkosana Enos Thobela with no locus standi during May 2019 under Sandton CAS Number 368/05/2019.
“We welcome the victory of Nafcoc and SVI members and beneficiaries against certain corrupt and top-ranking police officer/s and former directors of Nafcoc investment company who allegedly orchestrated and planned the disappearance of Nafcoc billions meant for its affiliates and membership,” Nafcoc’s Richard Zulu said.
Zulu says the federation wants ministers of justice and police as well as President Cyril Ramaphosa to prioritise Nafcoc’s main as this case was nothing but a ploy to discredit it.
“President Ramaphosa must tell the nation as to why his ministers and his democratic government are not delivering on this case which has almost 14 years, yet never found its day in court because one top ranking police officer is blocking it for personal reasons,” Zulu said.
He added that there are some former Nafcoc members including former leaders who are working behind the scenes to de-stabilise the federation.
“It should be emphasised that some Nafcoc erstwhile presidents and expelled disgruntled members are actively impugning the integrity of Nafcoc and campaigning to dislodge the current leadership from power.
“Accordingly, we call upon President Ramaphosa and the Minister of Justice to investigate who is behind the destabilisation of NAFCOC and black businesses, and promote and defend the WMC agenda and anti-transformation projects aimed at derailing black business from operating in a conducive environment,“ Zulu said.
Advocate James Ndebele of Ndebele Attorneys in his letter, accuses law enforcement authorities of conducting a Hollywood style approach when effecting their client’s arrest.
“The conduct of law enforcement agencies in this matter demonstrated disregard for the law, constitutionalism, and the justice system. They partook in a calculated abuse of process to ”deal“ with and embarrass our client for political scores and/or ulterior motives,” Ndebele said.