decision by the acting head of the Hawks to personally take over a docket that could lead to the reinstatement of charges of fraud and corruption against Kaizer Chiefs boss Bobby Motaung has been cited as a reason for the most recent delay in the case.
Acting Hawks head Major General Mthandazo Ntlemeza has allegedly declined to give the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) the docket implicating Motaung and five others in tender irregularities related to the R1.2 billion construction of Mbombela Stadium before the 2010 soccer World Cup.
The unit’s Mpumalanga-based investigator, Warrant Officer Mashudu Mashamba, had been removed from the case and the docket has been sent to Pretoria.
But a police source who is close to the case told City Press the NPA requested the docket on May 15 with a view to reinstating the charges against Motaung and his five co-accused, but Ntlemeza refused to hand it over.
The case has been in limbo since the Nelspruit Regional Court struck it off the roll in June 2013 because of the NPA’s bungle. The NPA could not decide if it wanted the trial to continue in the regional court or be transferred to the high court. Its head office issued two letters – one saying it should stay in the regional court and another supporting a transfer to the high court.
But City Press has learnt that Ntlemeza removed the docket from Mpumalanga a week ago without giving any reasons.
“After the case was struck off the roll, the investigating officer did some more work. The investigation is complete and the NPA wants to put the case back on the court’s roll, but Ntlemeza has been refusing to [supply] the docket,” the source said. Mashamba declined to comment because he is not authorised to speak to the media. Motaung’s company, Lefika Emerging Equity, was awarded a tender to design the stadium in 2006.
The Hawks arrested Motaung; his partner, Herbert Theledi; and Lefika CEO Chris Grip in August 2012 for allegedly: Using a false tax certificate when they bid for the tender to design the stadium; Forging an Mbombela municipal council letter to get a R1 million overdraft; and Stealing R143 million. Soon after the trio was arrested, they were indicted on additional charges of fraud, corruption and contravention of the Municipal Finance Management Act. The charges related to R920 million worth of stadium tenders.
Motaung and his accomplices were charged alongside former Mbombela municipal manager Jacob Dladla, former Ehlanzeni District Municipality technical manager Tebogo Kubeka and Grip’s lawyer, Michael Ramos.