Lefika in new dubious stadium deal row

THE controversial Lefika Emerging Equity Group's problems seem to have followed it from the Mbombela Stadium in Mpumalanga to the defunct Bob van Reenen Stadium in Mogale City.

The latest problem emerged after the company pissed off residents of Mogale City by failing to develop the Amakhosi Stadium where the Bob van Reenen Stadium is situated for use by Premier Soccer League glamour side Kaizer Chiefs.

According to our sources, Kaizer Chiefs manager Bobby Motaung, a partner in Lefika, is embroiled in both controversial stadium deals.

Police are currently investigating allegations of corruption and the murder of prominent politicians who allegedly questioned the issuing of the tender to develop Mbombela Stadium to Lefika.

Sars is also investigating claims that Lefika submitted a questionable tax clearance certificate in its tender bid.

The Amakhosi Stadium, which was to have been built three years ago, initially carried a price tag of R695 million. But even before the site had been cleared for construction, the cost is said to have doubled to R1,2 billion.

The group allegedly approached the Gauteng government to fund the project.

Krugersdorp ratepayers association chairperson Deon Kotze told Sowetan: "We believe about R240million was made available by the Gauteng Economic Development Agency (Geda) to fix the stadium".

But Geda spokesperson, Barba Gaoganediwe denied this claim, saying Geda "does not fund projects".

He revealed that Lefika had asked the provincial [Gauteng] government for funding for the stadium but he was not certain of the status of the request.

Local residents are now fed-up with the long wait and want the lease agreement between the city and Lefika annulled.

They have formed the Save Bob van Reenen Action Committee, which wants the stadium returned to Mogale City immediately and restored to its former glory.

Founding member Kobie Jooste has lamented the decision to "destroy" the stadium.

"This [construction of the new stadium] was a contentious issue," he said.

Two weeks ago Bobby Motaung, in his capacity as a partner in Lefika, told Sowetan: "The process to develop the stadium is still going on. Developers are raising money. There is no pressure on us."