Scorpions sting five over number of land claims

Frank Maponya

Frank Maponya

The Scorpions yesterday stung a senior Limpopo government official on charges of fraud and perjury.

Mashile Mokono, the provincial chief land claims commissioner, was arrested at his workplace in Polokwane.

He faces charges of perjury and fraud involving R2,5 million relating to a land claim by the community of Dwarsloop, near Bushbuckridge.

His arrest follows a discovery that the number of claims had been inflated.

Mokono was released on R7000 bail and his case was postponed to January 9.

Sources said yesterday investigations into Mokono's activities started in 2003 and that a case against him was opened at Hazyview police station in Mpumalanga, where four of his accomplices were also arrested.

All five accused will appear in the Nelspruit regional court in January.

Mokono's bail conditions prohibit him from making any form of contact with witnesses, either directly or indirectly. He was shown a list of the witnesses.

Advocate Patrick Nkuna of the Scorpions confirmed the arrest of Mokono and his co-accused.

"The suspects' arrests follows lengthy investigations into their affairs and we have a strong case against them," he said.