A former mayor and his four co-accused appeared in court yesterday on charges of corruption.
Former mayor of Makhudu Thamaga municipality in Limpopo Abram Kgaola Mafiri and the other accused, Kgopotso James Moreiwane, 44, brothers Collins Malekana, 38, and James Malekana, 49, and Abdul Muneer, 41, appeared in the Polokwane magistrates' court.
Moreiwane is a member of the mayoral committee in the Sekhukhune district municipality. Muneer is a well-known businessman in the Sekhukhune area.
Mafiri, 41, was mayor from 1995 until his term ended in last year's local government elections.
In 2002, the former mayor and his co-accused allegedly convinced members of the Sekhukhune community to register companies that were given tenders to transport stationery to schools in the province.
But the money was allegedly paid into the accounts of the accused.
The five men were charged with fraud, forgery, corruption and money laundering of more than R30million.
According to Richard Tshabalala, a senior state advocate for the specialised commercial crimes unit in Pretoria, the investigations started in 2005.
He said the net finally closed on the accused when they were arrested in March.
Tshabalala said the accused also solicited bribes in excess of R50000 for construction projects.
Mafiri was released after paying R20000 bail. Muneer had to pay R25000 bail, Moreiwane R2500 and the Malekana brothers were granted bail of R2000 each.
Tshabalala said yesterday that he was in the process of compiling a list of the charges which he will hand over to the lawyers representing the accused.
The matter was postponed to August 16.