Hawks gun for Bobby - Motaung back in Mbombela 'fraud mess'

Bobby Motaung and his business associates are facing a probe over alleged stadium fraud.
Bobby Motaung and his business associates are facing a probe over alleged stadium fraud.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

The Hawks are reviving cases of fraud against Kaizer Chiefs football manager Bobby Motaung and his business associates, Herbert Theledi and Marius Grib, after they allegedly submitted fake documents in their company Lefika's bid to design Mbombela Stadium.

Sunday World can exclusively reveal a meeting was held at the offices of Hawks' Brigadier Zama Basi in Pretoria on June 20, where a decision to resuscitate the case was taken.

Those who attended the meeting included Advocate Patrick Nkuna of the Specialised Commercial Crime Unit and investigating officer Warrant Officer Mashudu Mashamba.

Nkuna guided the police in their investigation on the cases and also led the prosecution against Motaung and his business associates. He was almost removed from the case after complaining he had received conflicting instructions from the NPA about whether the case was supposed to have been heard in the Mpumalanga High Court or regional court.

Mashamba was redeployed to Venda, allegedly under mysterious circumstances, while former Mpumalanga head of the Hawks Simon Mpyane was expelled from the Hawks after being charged for abusing travel allowances. He is fighting his innocence at the Nelspruit Magistrate's Court.

The case was struck off the roll in 2016. Motaung couldn't be reached for comment at the time of going to press.

Chiefs spokesman Vina Maphosa said this was a personal matter and referred us to Motaung's lawyer Advocate Zola Majavu.

The Mbombela Stadium has been rocked by fraud allegations for many years.
The Mbombela Stadium has been rocked by fraud allegations for many years.

Majavu said: "My client is unaware of the decision and thus we are not in a position to comment, however, if and when we are notified accordingly, we hold instructions to defend our client. For the record, our client respects the rule of law and not unsubstantiated gossip, especially if such decisions are communicated to the media before affected parties."

Grib declined to comment as he was not aware that the Hawks were reviving the cases against him.

Theledi said he was not aware of the revival of the case and would therefore also not comment.

Hawks spokesman Hangwani Mulaudzi said he was unable to confirm the existence of the meeting because Basi was still on leave and unreachable.

"We can only confirm or deny once Basi is back from leave. As it is, it will be improper for us to comment as he is unreachable," he said.

Two senior law enforcement agents, who cannot be named because they were not allowed to speak to the media, confirmed that there was a powwow, and that a decision to revive the cases was unanimously taken at that meeting.

"In that meeting Mashamba was ordered to assist to put the case together and to find out evidential material in the docket were still available. The evidential material included the witness statements and all the tender documents," said the agent.

The agent said the witnesses statements and tender documents in the case against the trio were missing and destroyed, allegedly by corrupt cops who wanted to shield the suspect from facing the music.

"Most of the evidential material in the docket have been cut to shreds by corrupt cops who wanted to make sure the case does not see the light of day. But we have a back up."

The agent said Mashamba told them in that meeting that the evidential material in the fraud case was still available and witnesses were still eager to testify.

"We are more than ready on the cases," said the agent.

According to court documents we saw, the witnesses include a senior Mbombela municipal officials, a SARS official, a bank employee and unknown woman from Australia. Another agent, also confirmed the revival of the cases and the existence of the meeting.

Advocate Willem Van Zyl, the agent further said, was roped in to assist Nkuna with the case.

"He gave the investigators a list of things to be investigated but they told him everything he wanted was obtained under the legal guidance and advice of Nkuna and are in the docket. The case will be enrolled back on the court roll very soon," said the agent. The agent said former Hawks boss Yoliswa Matakata initiated the revival process and Basi took over where she had left off.

"In fact, credit must be given to General Matakata for pushing for the revival of the case after questioning why the case didn't proceed amid the overwhelming evidence.

"She then instructed one of the cops to go and interview Mashamba, who was the investigator. The cop interviewed Mashamba and submitted a report to her and after studying the report she insisted that the case must be revived. Basi is just picking where she left off."

The agent confirmed that the same indictment signed by the NPA would be used in court.

According to the indictment seen by Sunday World, Marius Christiaan Grib is accused number 1, Herbert Cedric Sadness Theledi is accused No 2, Bobby Nehemia Motaung is accused No 3, and Lefika Emerging Equity (PTY) Ltd is accused No 4 4.

"Accused 1, 2 and 3 through their company Lefika ( accused 4) submitted tender documents in respect of tender No.02/2006 to the Mbombela Local Municipality as a result of which they were appointed by the Mbombela Local Municipality to design, supervise contract administration and the commissioning of the Multi Purpose Regional Sports Stadium and Events Facility with a contract value of R143-million," read the indictment.

It stated that in the tender documents Motaung, Theledi and Grib submitted a forged tax clearance in support of their submission "on behalf of accused 4 and their subcontractors, purported to have been issued by the South African Revenue Service, to the Mbombela Local Municipality, as part of the requirements to tender the municipality".

"Accused 3 on behalf of accused 1, 2 and 4 submitted a forged letter to First National Bank, in support of their application for an overdraft facility of R1-million, indicating that they had issued an invoice to Mbombela Local Municipality for an amount of money which the acting municipal manager on behalf of Mbombela Local Municipality had confirmed would be processed for payment in January 2009.

"The state will argue that by inference the accused acted in furtherance of a common purpose as perpetrators and/or as accomplices and/or conspired to commit the said offences as aforesaid," the indictment said.

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