The state has told Chief Nyalala Pilane, of the Bakgatla ba Kgafela, that he is a liar and has stolen from his tribe.
Pilane, 47, is appearing in the Mogwase regional court, in North West, on 43 charges of theft, involving R40 million, corruption and defrauding the Land Bank of R13 million.
He is appearing with Koos Motshegwa, who is facing a charge of theft involving R10000.
Prosecutor Lizelle van Niekerk told the chief on Wednesday that he was fabricating the evidence so that he would be freed. He had used money intended for the tribe for himself.
"You transferred tribal money into your own account with the intention of stealing it. You never got a mandate from the tribe to withdraw and use their money," said Van Niekerk.
Asked to produce receipts for payments and withdrawals he had made, Pilane said they had been confiscated by the assets forfeiture unit of the National Prosecuting Authority, which had attached 14 of his farms, his vehicles, game and livestock, and had frozen his bank accounts. The trial continues today. - Winkie Dibakwane