Welcome Msomi.
Welcome Msomi.

Welcome Msomi, alleged R8m thief, 'must pay for his sins'

By MPILETSO MOTUMI Time of article published Apr 3, 2019

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Playwright Welcome Msomi’s peers were filled with disappointment as they watched him walk to the dock at the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.

Music greats Stompie Manana, Abigail Kubeka, Caiphus Semenya and Letta Mbulu sat on one of the benches in the near empty courtroom.

Msomi appeared briefly on charges of theft. He avoided eye contact with his fellow musicians during the proceedings.

The producer was arrested last month after the Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime Investigation followed a probe into R8million that was allegedly stolen from the Living Legends Trust account last year.

The programme was started by the Department of Arts and Culture and a trust was set up in order to empower living legends when it came to accessing opportunities available to them.

Magistrate Philip Venter postponed the matter after State prosecutor Frans Mhlongo told the court he had been approached by people claiming to be members of the Msomi family.

A verification process of these family members will be done ahead of the next court date.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said Msomi’s travel documents also needed to be collected as he was a potential flight risk.

Outside court, Mbulu, who serves as the chairperson of the trust, said while she was satisfied the justice system was working, she was worried about the older members of the Living Legends programme.

“The older people in the organisation need help and all the medication they can get and we aren’t able to help them all because of a simple situation that he (Msomi) has created and that bothers me,” Mbulu said.

She said though Msomi was an elder person, he still had to “pay for his sins”.

She added that the programmes the Living Legends Trust were supposed to embark on had come to a halt.

“The problem is that we would love to continue with the programme but we do not have the money. We are broke now. This was the only amount we had in the bank that we were given to do whatever programmes we wanted. So right now we are in limbo and hoping that the government will give us some funding to finish up the programmes but that has not happened yet.”

He was remanded in custody and the matter was postponed to April 10.

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