More Lesedi FM heads set to roll

Simon Nare

Simon Nare

More heads are set to roll at Lesedi FM radio station after the arrest of its popular presenter Thuso Motaung and his wife in connection with fraud amounting to millions of rands.

The two were on Thursday released on R100000 bail each after meeting surety requirements.

They are due back in court on January 24. Sowetan yesterday tried to talk to the Motaungs without success.

Sowetan also subsequently learnt that a senior manager at the station collapsed after hearing that Motaung and his wife had been arrested.

The man, whose name is known to Sowetan, is allegedly among at least two other well-known SABC employees who were arrested in connection with the alleged fraud committed against the station.

Motaung, pictured above, 47, and his wife, Mmamontha, 39, also a presenter at the station, were arrested on December 7 when they handed themselves over to the police after an investigation into more than R30 million fraud.

The couple, together with business analyst Joshau Ramme, appeared in the Johannesburg commercial crimes court to face 17 charges of fraud, money laundering and corruption committed between December 2003 and August.

An internal investigation at the public broadcaster into their activities took a year and the couple have since been suspended by the SABC. However, sources at the station say the couple's arrest is just the tip of the iceberg.

Sowetan has also learnt that Thami Ntenteni, the head of SABC radio, flew to Bloemfontein last week to inform employees that more people would be arrested.

Kaizer Kganyago, spokesman for the SABC, confirmed that Ntenteni had held a meeting with employees of the station this week.

"I wouldn't know what he said," was all Kganyago would say. "But he went down to Bloemfontein to speak to the staff."

Police spokesman, Director Govindsamy Mariemuthoo, also confirmed that investigations were continuing.

Sources say Motaung was the first to go down because he had benefitted the most because of his popularity.

Another well-known presenter, now among the state witnesses, is said to be the whistle-blower.

The source questioned why the SABC management had taken so long to be alerted to the alleged corruption.

Sowetan sources say tensions are running high at the popular radio station.