'Who received the money?'
Chief Nyalala John Molefe Pilane has been ordered by magistrate Stefaan du Toit to bring to court proof that he has paid back the money he is accused of illegally removing from the Land and Agricultural Bank of South Africa.
Du Toit gave the order on Friday in the Mogwase regional court in North West, where Pilane, chief of the Bakgatla-Ba-Kgafela tribe and his councillor, Koos Shimane Motshegwa, are on trial for fraud, theft and corruption.
"I have documents that show that the money has been paid, but there is no indication as to who received the payments. The court will want to know the recipient at the bank,'' said Du Toit.
He then postponed the case to April 28 and 29.
Du Toit also said that two submissions had been forwarded to the court showing that Pilane was involved in various large-scale developmental projects in the Bakgatla-Ba-Kgafela village in Moruleng, Saulspoort.
He said the submissions showed that mining giant Anglo American was paying between R20 and R30 million a year into the coffers of the tribe and that the chief was putting the money to good use.
"The state takes these efforts to be very good and beneficial to the tribe. But the court needs to get confirmation about these from Anglo American and of what role the chief is playing.
"There has to be proof that these projects exist at the village,'' said Du Toit.
The defence and the state neither commented nor objected to the magistrate's ruling.
Chief Pilane, wearing a black suit with a red striped tie on a white shirt, was welcomed into the court by hundreds of ululating supporters.
They later ushered him from the court to the awaiting motorcade with singing and jubilation.
His co-accused, Koos Motshegwa, has been convicted of stealing R10000 that belonged to the tribe.
In mitigation of sentence, Motshegwa's defence attorney Jakobus Strydom said that Motshegwa has cancer and that he did not benefit from the R10 000 he was convicted of stealing.