Bobby Motaung case ‘has nothing to do with murder of Mbombela councillor’
The state has confirmed that the criminal case against Kaizer Chiefs Football Club manager Bobby Motaung and two others has nothing to do with the assassination of former Mbombela council speaker Jimmy Mohlala.
Prosecutor Advocate Patrick Nkuna explained this during today’s appearance in the Nelspruit Regional Court of Motaung, his co-director at Lefika Emerging Equity (Pty) Ltd Herbert Theledi and the company’s former CEO, Chris Grip.
The trio’s lawyers were apparently irked by Nkuna’s insinuation during the bail application last month that the charges could be linked to Mohlala’s murder.
Mohlala was shot dead at his home in KaNyamazane in January 2009. He was fighting tender corruption at the time of his death and had intended to lay criminal charges.
“We will state in the trial that these documents are the source of the murders,” Nkuna said in August.
In fact, Motaung, Theledi and Grip are charged with fraud amounting to R143 million in the R1.2 billion Mbombela stadium tender.
They allegedly used a false tax certificate when they submitted their bid for the tender to design the Mbombela stadium.
They also allegedly forged a Mbombela council letter with a fake signature of former Mbombela municipal manager Sgananda Siboza to obtain a R1 million overdraft from a bank. And they are also charged with theft amounting to R143 million.
Today Nkuna said: “The charges against the accused do not involve the murder of (Mohlala). As to whether there are investigations (on Mohlala’s murder), I would not know.”
But protesters outside court, many of whom are ANC and SACP members, seem to believe the matters are linked.
“Cathy (Dlamini, Mbombela mayor) and your Mbombela tell us who killed Jimmy,” read one of the placards.
Another one said: “(President Jacob) Zuma release assassinations report now.”
The protesters today were clad in T-shirts that made a statement about the upcoming ANC conference in Mangaung.
They wanted deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe to replace Zuma. Other names of those they want elected are Mathews Phosa (deputy president), Fikile Mbalula (secretary-general), Thenjiwe Mtintso (deputy secretary-general), Tokyo Sexwale (treasurer) and Thandi Modise (chairperson).
Meanwhile, Nkuna said the state had completed its investigation and was ready for trial. The accused’s lawyers demanded that they should be provided with indexed and paginated bundles of documents by November 9.
Nkuna provided the names of 13 state witnesses that he will call to testify. They include former and current employees of the SA Revenue Services.
The release of the names precipitated further additions on Motaung, Theledi and Grip’s bail conditions that they should not interfere with witnesses directly or indirectly.
The case was postponed to December 3.