MEEC trial deferred to November

THE high-profile corruption trial of former Mpumalanga Economic Empowerment Corporation (MEEC) chief executive Ernest Khoza and former director-general Stanley Soko has resumed in the Nelspruit regional court.

THE high-profile corruption trial of former Mpumalanga Economic Empowerment Corporation (MEEC) chief executive Ernest Khoza and former director-general Stanley Soko has resumed in the Nelspruit regional court.

But, the trial, which had initially been scheduled for three days starting from Monday, has been adjourned until November 9.

This after defence advocate Gys Rautenbach said he had other commitments that he needed to attend to from yesterday and could not be available for the trial yesterday and today.

Two state witnesses, entrepreneur Mpho Matshivela and the director of communications in the office of the premier Joy, Lentlokoane, took the stand against Khoza and Soko on Monday.

Soko and Khoza had reportedly arranged for the government to pay Rainbow Kwanda Communications director Kedibone Mashamaite R3,6million before he had done any work.

Rainbow Kwanda, which was co-owned by Mashamaite, had won the contract to market the province financially and economically during the reign of former premier Ndaweni Mahlangu.

The pair then demanded R1million each from Mashamaite in return for the "favour".

Mashamaite admitted that he made a series of cash payments to the men, or their "front" accounts at various banks, but refused to cooperate any further when the cash drain started threatening the survival of Rainbow Kwanda.

On Monday, Matshivela told the court that she lent R115000 to Khoza in 2003.

She said as a successful business person, she saw nothing wrong in doing that because business people always assisted each other.

Lentlokoane told the court she did not recall any memorandum seeking approval of the R30million contract given to Rainbow Kwanda.

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