Living Legend R8m 'thief' to be arrested

The disappearance of the funds was announced last week by acting chairperson of the trust Letta Mbulu.
The disappearance of the funds was announced last week by acting chairperson of the trust Letta Mbulu.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

Police are expected to make an arrest today of the suspected thief who stole R8m from the Living Legends Legacy Project Trust.

Sowetan has learned that the alleged culprit is an entertainment and performance heavyweight who has been at the forefront of exporting SA theatre to the world for years.

The disappearance of the funds was announced last week by acting chairperson of the trust Letta Mbulu.

A case of theft was opened at the Bramley police station in Johannesburg on January 10 and a warrant of arrest was issued this week.

According to Mbulu, the money disappeared the same afternoon it was deposited on September 18 2018.

Sources close to the investigation said the arrest comes after meticulous investigations by the police and the bank following the money trail.

It has come to light that the money was moved from the FNB account to a Nedbank account and then transferred to others.

According to sources in the industry, the suspect has been struggling with a gambling addiction for years.

Sources further claimed the man, who cannot be named until he appears in court, also confided to one of the legends about his financial woes.

Department of arts and culture spokesperson, Asanda Magaqa, said after the department had put law enforcers under pressure and it was pleased that the arrest will happen soon.

"DAC wishes to state that in no ambiguous terms that it will never allow evildoers and selfish individuals to thwart its efforts for commitment, progress and care of this nation's living treasures in the form of the Living Legends.

"We continued to put pressure on law enforcement agencies to bring the perpetrators and implicated parties to book and also recover the stolen funds."

Mbulu told Sowetan yesterday that she would be relieved if the police could make an arrest.

"My concern has been about the legends who are not well. I would like them to see this process through and get the answers," she said.

Sowetan has learnt that the suspect who has served in the board of Meropa public relations company in Johannesburg, was relieved of his duties last week, however, the company refused to comment on the matter.

The man further used to hold a powerful position in the KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission (KZNFC).

Lungile Duma, marketing and communications specialist at the commission commented: "KZNFC has not received any formal communication with regards to the allegations regarding the Living Legends Trust.

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