ex-mayor is freed ON R30 m RAP

Frank Maponya

Frank Maponya

The prosecutor who was in charge of the case involving the former mayor of Makhudu-Thamaga municipality will seek advice from his superiors if he appeal against the acquittal of Abram Kgaola Mafiri and his alleged business associate, Abdul Muneer Essa, on charges involving more than R30million.

The two had appeared in the Polokwane specialised commercialised crimes court charged with fraud, corruption, money laundering, forgery and uttering.

They were arrested two years ago by the police commercial crimes unit, who found that Mafiri had allegedly abused his powers as a mayor by making villagers around Jane Furse register companies that won tenders to distribute stationery atschools in the province.

But the proceeds thereof had ended up in Mafiri and his associates' accounts.

Subsequent to that, members of the assets forfeiture unit swooped on Mafiri and Essa's homes in Sekhukhune last year and attached their properties.

It was said at the time that the properties were worth more than R3million.

Prosecutor Richard Chabalala said yesterday he would consult his superiors in Johannesburg if he should challenge the court's decision. He said they have two weeks to lodge an appeal.

He further said the assumption that because the two had been acquitted would mean their properties would be returned was "incorrect".

"It is important to note that the two still face other charges apart from the ones they were acquitted on," he said.

Judgment in the other case involving Mafiri and brothers Collins and James Malekana is expected on August 28.

The case relates to corruption on water projects estimated at R5million, where Mafiri allegedly appointed James for the bulk water supply tender at the municipality and later shared the profit.