Welcome Msomi. FILE PICTURE

A verdict on the Welcome Msomi bail application hearing is yet to be given. 

On Wednesday Msomi appeared at the Palm Ridge Magistrate's Court on 61 counts of theft. 

The state is opposing his bail alleging that while Msomi was the chairperson of the Living Legends Trust, a portfolio started by the department of Arts and Culture to uplift elders of the arts industry, he transferred an amount of R8 million from the trust account into his own. The transactions happened between September 18 and October 24. 

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. 

He claimed he owned a house in Umlazi, KZN where his sister resided. 
The other addresses given belonged to his son who resides in Sunninghill and a family friend in Turffontein. Both parties were not willing to take him in. 
State prosecutor Frans Mhlongo determined that Msomi was a flight risk and evaded meeting with the police. He said Msomi had no assets or family ties that would keep him in the country adding that he had more to live for in the US than in SA. 
According to the affidavit read out in court Msomi had productions underway in countries outside of the country namely the US and the UK.

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.

Magistrate Philip Venter told the defense that the amount of R5000 for bail was inadequate as Msomi was a frequent traveler and earned between R50 000 and R70 000 a month. He also found the Umlazi address he wanted to reside in had no merit because he had not stayed there for more than 12 months. 

He postponed the judgment of the matter to April 30 for the defense to get a verification of the Umlazi address and the title deed in Msomi's name.