For­mer Lo­tus man in court

Post - - News - SIPHUMELELE KHU­MALO

AC­CUSED of over­charg­ing for his voice-over ser­vices and fal­si­fy­ing in­voices, for­mer Lo­tus FM pre­sen­ter Vikash Mathura, pic­tured, ap­peared in a Jo­han­nes­burg court on Mon­day.

The 43 year old faces charges of fraud and, al­ter­na­tively, theft. He has been out on R5 000 bail that was granted in May. He is ac­cused of billing El­ler­ines Fur­nish­ers an amount of R887 467.20 to his per­sonal com­pany, a charge that he de­nies.

It is al­leged that in 2009, Mathura was deputy man­ag­ing ex­ec­u­tive of the Beares brand, which is now liq­ui­dated, and was pro­moted in 2010 to group mar­ket­ing ex­ec­u­tive with the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of the brand’s group mar­ket­ing ser­vice and the re­spec­tive bud­get.

Mathura was dis­missed by the com­pany in July 2012 and is de­fend­ing the claim at the Jo­han­nes­burg Com­mer­cial Court.

The State claims Mathura de­clared to El­ler­ines Fur­nish­ers that he was a free­lance ra­dio an­nouncer, and of­fered voice-over ser­vices to the plain­tiff and asked to be in­voiced through his com­pany, Shasim En­ter­tain­ment En­ter­prises (SEE).

Ac­cord­ing to Matthew Wil­cock, the plain­tiff who was cross-ex­am­ined on Mon­day, Mathura over­charged the com­pany for his ser­vices and al­legedly fal­si­fied in­voices.

El­ler­ines then re­quested in­voices from him and was sus­pi­cious when he re­fused.

He then con­tacted the SABC for in­voices and only re­alised af­ter com­par­ing the in­voices that he had been is­sued by Mathura, to the ones from the SABC that Mathura was over­charg­ing them.

Ad­vo­cate JG Do­bie, act­ing for El­ler­ines, had ear­lier al­leged that Mathura had over­charged for the ad­ver­tise­ments, which were flighted on Lo­tus FM.

“On April 1, 2011, the de­fen­dant (Mathura) de­clared that he would pro­vide voice-over ser­vices to the plain­tiff. He stated he had re­ceived ben­e­fi­cial ad­ver­tis­ing and spon­sor­ship rates from Lo­tus FM, that he would pass these ben­e­fits on to El­ler­ines, that such work would be in­voiced through SEE and that none of such com­mis­sioned work would be for his per­sonal gain,” he said in court pa­pers.

He added that in Oc­to­ber 2010 Mathura had prof­ited se­cretly by en­ter­ing into an agree­ment with the SABC on be­half of El­ler­ines. The de­fen­dant used his own postal ad­dress as the billing ad­dress.

The trial was post­poned to next month.

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