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Reports about involvement in alleged theft of R56m have harmed me, says Mafokate

Kwaito star Arthur Mafokate is alleged to be involved in the misappropriation of R56m in community development funds from the National Lotteries Commission. File photo.
Kwaito star Arthur Mafokate is alleged to be involved in the misappropriation of R56m in community development funds from the National Lotteries Commission. File photo.
Image: Webster Molaudi

King of kwaito Arthur Mafokate says reports that he was allegedly involved in the misappropriation of R56m from the National Lotteries Commission (NLC) have badly affected his family and businesses.

Last week, the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) announced that it had obtained a preservation order to freeze a plot, a farm and three luxury properties valued at R53m, one of which belonging to Mafokate.

SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said the National Prosecuting Authority's (NPA) Asset Forfeiture Unit obtained a preservation order from the Pretoria high court to freeze the properties that are linked to the siphoning of lotteries grant funding meant for community development projects.

The properties include Mafokate's luxury property in Midrand, Johannesburg, with a sale value of R7.5m as well as former NLC legal representative Lesley Ramulifho, whose property in Cape Town is affected.

In a briefing in which he said he would set the record straight in which he was interviewed by publicist Danny Mdluli, Mafokate did not answer questions, saying he respected the SIU process.

Mafokate said since the news broke, he has been traumatised.

He said when he launched his organisation, the SA Art and Development Association (SAADA), he conducted interviews all over the country but said he was shocked when the media accused him of using the money meant for community development projects to buy a house.

“When you have been running the organisation from your own pocket, when you get that funding you buy the things that are mentioned in the proposal. Yes, I bought office equipment and other things because the organisation did not have those resources.

“In our proposal, that we sent to different organisations asking for funding, it was stated that we need the resources as a new organisation. I don’t want to speak about SIU because I respect the process. No one is going to pressure me to say anything..

“I normally do not want to compete with journalists; remember I am a failed journalist. I dropped out while studying journalism. But what I read this week was disappointing and shocking. Some of the things that were reported were not true.

“Secondly, these lies affect my brand and businesses. Businesses that I work with are worried about my reputation. What’s funny is that my daughter told me that at her school, they were saying I stole R6,000.”

The SIU's investigation shows that SAADA applied for grant funding to the tune of R18m back in 2013 but was approved for just over R9m, which was paid over two tranches in two years.

In October 2014, SAADA received its first payment of R4.65m from the NLC and a second tranche of the same amount followed in 2015.

SAADA made five transfers to Roadshow Marketing, a registered company where Mafokate is the sole director.

In November 2015, Roadshow Marketing transferred a R4.5m to a home loan account and just two months later, 999 Music, owned by Mafokate, signed a purchase order of the R7.7m property in Midrand.

bambalelep@sowetan.co.za

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