Cor­rup­tion charges may be re­in­stated now that Hawks are ‘sat­is­fied’ with in­ves­ti­ga­tions

CityPress - - News - ABRAM MASHEGO and SIZWE SAMA YENDE abram.mashego@city­ sizwe.yende@city­

Kaizer Chiefs foot­ball man­ager Bobby Mo­taung and his five co-ac­cused may soon re­turn to court on fraud, cor­rup­tion and forgery charges re­lat­ing to the R1.2 bil­lion Mbombela sta­dium con­struc­tion ten­ders. Hawks boss Ma­jor Gen­eral Mthandazo Ntle­meza con­firmed to City Press that his unit’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the mat­ter was now com­plete and that they had re­ferred the case to the Na­tional Pros­e­cut­ing Au­thor­ity (NPA) for a de­ci­sion on whether or not to pros­e­cute.

“Ntle­meza has asked Na­tional Di­rec­tor of Pub­lic Pros­e­cu­tions Shaun Abra­hams to re­con­sider the re­in­state­ment of the case af­ter col­lect­ing the docket from the Mpumalanga re­gional Hawks in­ves­ti­ga­tors,” said a se­nior Hawks of­fi­cer, speak­ing on con­di­tion of anonymity.

“The docket was sent to the NPA on Tues­day and we are wait­ing for their de­ci­sion on the way for­ward.” Ntle­meza de­clined to re­veal any de­tails. In June 2014, Mpumalanga Hawks of­fi­cials were fu­ri­ous when Ntle­meza took the docket from the orig­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tor, War­rant Of­fi­cer Mashudu Mashamba, and re­as­signed the case.

The pro­vin­cial of­fi­cers be­lieved the case was be­ing de­stroyed.

At the time, the NPA said it was ready for trial when the case was struck off the roll. Pros­e­cu­tors wanted the case re­in­stated but told City Press that Ntle­meza had re­fused to hand over the docket.

This week, Ntle­meza said he had taken pos­ses­sion of the docket af­ter learn­ing that in­ves­ti­ga­tors had not made any progress on the case.

“A new in­ves­ti­ga­tor was ap­pointed to ad­dress some of the con­cerns raised by the court. We are now sat­is­fied with the progress and the mat­ter is now with the NPA,” said Hawks spokesper­son Bri­gadier Hang­wani Mu­laudzi.

In 2012, Mo­taung was charged along­side Her­bert Theledi, co-di­rec­tor of Le­fika Emerg­ing Equity, and Chris Grip, the com­pany’s chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer, for al­legedly us­ing a false tax clear­ance cer­tifi­cate when they bid for a ten­der to de­sign the sta­dium for the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

The three al­legedly forged an Mbombela mu­nic­i­pal coun­cil let­ter to se­cure a R1 mil­lion over­draft and al­legedly stole R143 mil­lion.

They are also fac­ing sep­a­rate but in­ter­linked charges of fraud, cor­rup­tion and con­tra­ven­tion of the Mu­nic­i­pal Fi­nance Man­age­ment Act re­lat­ing to R920 mil­lion worth of sta­dium ten­ders.

In that case, they have been charged along­side for­mer Mbombela mu­nic­i­pal man­ager Ja­cob Dladla, for­mer Eh­lanzeni District Mu­nic­i­pal­ity tech­ni­cal man­ager Tebogo Kubeka and Grip’s lawyer and Le­fika’s com­pli­ance of­fi­cer, Michael Ramos.

The case looked like it would die af­ter the NPA bun­gled it, forc­ing the Nel­spruit re­gional court to re­move it from the court roll in 2013.

The pros­e­cu­tor, Ad­vo­cate Pa­trick Nkuna, wanted to trans­fer the case to the North Gaut­eng High Court in Pre­to­ria, but some of his se­niors dis­agreed and pre­sented two con­tra­dic­tory let­ters to the court – one sup­port­ing Nkuna and an­other say­ing the mat­ter should re­main where it was.

The case

NPA spokesper­son Lu­vuyo Mfaku said an an­nounce­ment about the re­in­state­ment of the case would be made once a de­ci­sion was taken and those in­volved no­ti­fied.

Mo­taung re­ferred ques­tions to his lawyer, Zola Ma­javu, who said they did not know that the case could now pro­ceed. “We have not been no­ti­fied about the de­vel­op­ments, so I can­not com­ment,” Ma­javu said.

Po­lice have failed over the past seven years to ar­rest those re­spon­si­ble for the as­sas­si­na­tion of for­mer Mbombela mu­nic­i­pal speaker Jimmy Mohlala, who had been on a cru­sade to root out and ex­pose cor­rup­tion re­lated to the sta­dium ten­ders.

Mohlala was shot dead at his home in KaNya­mazane town­ship, out­side Mbombela, on Jan­uary 5 2009.

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