'I'll expose the Hawks', says Sam Holdings owner

Mpumalanga businessman Sam Chabalala is mobbed by well-wishers after he was granted bail of R200,000 in the Witbank magistrate's court on Monday. /Thulani Mbele
Mpumalanga businessman Sam Chabalala is mobbed by well-wishers after he was granted bail of R200,000 in the Witbank magistrate's court on Monday. /Thulani Mbele

Mpumalanga businessman Sam "Mshengu" Chabalala, who was granted R200,000 bail on Monday, accused the Hawks of pursuing him on fabricated charges.

The businessman, who runs Sam Holdings, a Mpumalanga-based logistics company, is facing charges of fraud, bribery, contravention of Immigration Act and being in possession of unlicensed firearm.

"With regard to charges against me, I remain resolute that I'm innocent. My time will come to take a stand in court and expose them for who they are because these charges are fabricated," he said in a statement read out by his legal team.

Hawks spokesperson Brig Hangwani Mulaudzi said they were used to people attempting to derail investigation with wild allegations.

"His remarks don't deserve a response. We are continuing with investigations into the matter," he said.

Last week, Chabalala's friend and confidante Nkosinathi Ngcongo, 30, was shot several times when he was about to leave a Sam Holdings depot in Bethal, Mpumalanga.

Ngcongo had been interviewed by the Hawks in relation to the investigation into Chabalala's citizenship.

Chabalala said he would hire a private investigator to probe the murder of Ngcongo, whom he regarded as a friend and brother.

"I'm going to appoint a private investigator who will assist me and get to the bottom of what happened with regard to the shooting of Ngcongo. Anyone who's got information about what happened to my employee and brother Nathi ... I will really appreciate that information which will assist the police," he said.

"Nathi was my brother and his family is mine too, and I will do everything in my power to assist Nathi's family with burial costs."

The Mpumalanga tycoon who shot to prominence after leading a 72-car convoy to the Durban July horse racing event, said he was still sick and under medical observation.

"I need to notify the public that it is true I was hospitalised [as Sowetan reported about it] when I was still in custody. [The illness] developed when I was in police custody on Friday night, after I was arrested."

Chabalala said he had experienced "stomach complications" which led to him being hospitalised.

"Furthermore, I'm still undergoing medical check-ups.

"I will comply with my bail condition. I would like to express my gratitude to my wife, family, employees and everyone who supported me during this difficult time," he said.

Meanwhile, Sowetan has been reliably informed that the businessman's problems were piling up as home affairs is allegedly stepping up plans to revoke his SA citizenship.

An insider told Sowetan that on Friday, the home affairs served Mshengu with a notice to revoke his citizenship within five days.

Home affairs spokesperson Thabo Mokgola would not comment on the matter.

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