Picture: Matthews Baloyi/African News Agency (ANA)
Johannesburg - Legendary playwright Welcome Msomi used to transfer as little as R40 into his account when he was stealing R8 million from the Living Legends Trust.

This is some of the information contained in an affidavit presented by the state in the case of Msomi who's facing theft charges in relation to the millions that went missing from the Trust.

On Wednesday, Msomi appeared  at the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court on 61 counts of theft. Msomi, who was the chairperson of the Trust, was arrested last month after an investigation into the missing money.

The Trust, a portfolio started by the Department of Arts and Culture to uplift elders of the arts industry, had R8m in its account in order to begin programmes set out to enhance the industry’s talent.

According to the State, Msomi, as one of three signatories, transferred the money from the trust account into his own. The transactions occurred between September 18 and October 24 in 2018.

The affidavit states that transactions as little as R40 were transferred.

The bail application’s main contention was a dispute over Msomi’s residential address. The investigating officer, Constable Nokuhle Sibiya, told the court that she received four different addresses relating to the matter.

The first was the home in Illovo where Msomi was residing while the investigation was ongoing, the second was that of his son Sibusiso in Sunning- hill, the third a family friend in Turffontein and the fourth Msomi’s alleged house in uMlazi, KwaZulu-Natal.

During her testimony, Sibiya told the court that Msomi evaded arrest by leaving his residence in Illovo to travel to Durban once information came to him that the police were looking for him. Sibiya added that the investigating officer in Durban said Msomi was using false names while staying in two different hotels.

It was only after his picture was shown that they were able to locate him. Msomi disputed the claim, saying that he stayed at the hotels under his name using his membership cards.

In his affidavit, Msomi declared that he had three productions running in the US and UK.

He also owned shares to the value of R25m in the US and another R100 000 locally, which he would be willing to be ceded in order to get bail. The court heard from Sibiya about Msomi’s strained relationship with his son Sibusiso.

She said Sibusiso did not want anything to do with his father and had not seen him in over a year, after she enquired about his residential address.

The family friend in Turffontein could no longer take Msomi in and the lease in Illovo had expired.

Magistrate Philip Venter postponed the judgment of the matter to April 30 for the defence to get a verification of the uMlazi address and the title deed in Msomi’s name.

He was remanded in custody.

The Star