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Thuso didn't intimidate witnesses

By unknown | Jun 01, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Getrude Makhafola

Getrude Makhafola

Popular Lesedi FM presenter Thuso Motaung is free - for now.

Magistrate Jeremy Janse van Vuuren ruled in the Johannesburg commercial crimes court yesterday that Motaung did not intimidate or threaten any of the witnesses lined up for his pending fraud and corruption case, which goes to court on July 27.

Motaung spent seven days behind bars since his arrest in Bloemfontein on Wednesday last week. He was accused of breaking the conditions attached to his R100000 bail given in November.

Police arrested Motaung after one of the witnesses in the fraud case had claimed in an affidavit that Motaung had threatened him.

Lucky Qacha reported that Motaung had told his co-worker Tsietsi Mohoaladi that "my train will come down on Qacha and everyone standing next to him".

Janse van Vuuren said Mohoaladi and Qacha did not do anything about the perceived threat, nor did they complain to the police.

He also noted that Qacha and Mohoaladi's first conversation 13 days later after the alleged threat was made, centred around cricket and not the fact that Qacha was in danger.

"The court has considered all the evidence presented, especially that of Tsietsi Mohoaladi.

"The accused made an idiomatic expression about a moving train. He did not pose any danger to Qacha in any way," Janse van Vuuren said.

He said Mohoaladi seemed unsure of himself and could not explain how Motaung's conversation with him was a threat to Qacha.

Motaung's lawyer, Zola Majavu said it was evident from the beginning that the state had no case.

"The state's failure to call Qacha to testify sunk them.

"The supposed threatened witness [Qacha] was outside court all the time, but he was not called to give evidence. What is the state hiding?" Majavu asked.

After Janse van Vuuren's ruling, an ecstatic Motaung thanked his wife, supporters and relatives.

He also pleaded with supporters not to swear or use offending placards when demonstrating.

"I am a Christian and will not condone that kind of behaviour," he said.

Motaung, his wife Mmamontha and Joshua Ramme, a business associate, are accused of defrauding the SABC of R32million.


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