Lies emerge in R Kelly saga

2013-10-20 14:00

Former ANC Eastern Cape provincial executive committee member Andile Lungisa and the department of arts and culture have been caught out in a lie.

Lungisa, his wife Ursula Sali and friends Thabo Shogole and Xolisile Guqaza are facing fraud and money laundering charges.

They allegedly pocketed R2.5 million from the department to get R&B superstar R Kelly to perform at the Nelson Mandela Sport and Culture Day on August 17.

R Kelly was in the country in early August for his Single Ladies Tour, but left on August 11 – a day before Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile was told the singer would be at FNB Stadium to perform.

A few hours later, the department did an about-turn, saying it wanted to recoup the R2.5 million it paid to Guqaza’s company, Sichongoma.

This was the first time Lungisa was named in the deal, and reports emerged that R2.4 million of the money had ended up in his bank account.

The department’s spokesperson, Mack Lewele, denied that Lungisa was involved, as did Lungisa, who was relieved of his duties as the head of the National Youth Development Agency.

City Press is now in possession of documents that show Lewele and Lungisa lied (see timeline).

The saga began with a meeting on July 23 between Mashatile’s adviser Mduduzi Mbada, Azwifarwi Radebe, the owner of Crystal View Promotions, and Lungisa, who said he was co-promoting R Kelly’s tour under the auspices of Makhanda Music.

“At this meeting, Andile Lungisa indicated that he was the local promoter bringing Robert Kelly (R Kelly) for two shows to South Africa,” investigating officer Burton Trollip says in an affidavit City Press has seen.

“He indicated that he has negotiated with R Kelly for him to perform at the Nelson Mandela Sport and Culture Day to be hosted at Soccer City on August 17 2013,” Trollip’s affidavit reads.

A contract was signed between Crystal View and Shogole’s VBT Consulting.

Once that contract was signed, Lungisa submitted an addendum, which City Press has also seen, to Crystal View.

In it, Lungisa wrote that an agreement had been reached by VBT with someone named Randy Salcedo, who signed the document as R Kelly’s manager.

But according to Afropulse, the organisers of R Kelly’s Single Ladies Tour, Daryl Davies was the singer’s manager who was in the country with him.

Afropulse also said there was no chance R Kelly would perform for R2.5 million, as his appearance fee was R4 million.

“It took us eight months to organise R Kelly and to try to get him in less than two weeks was impossible,” said Afropulse’s Sabata Lechema.

“It was going be logistically impossible, because there are a lot of things one needs to do beforehand.”

Crystal View tried to get the money back, but Lungisa and Shogole’s laywer, Thabo Kwinana, was defiant on his clients’ behalf.

A letter of demand from Crystal View’s lawyers, dated August 14, was sent to Lungisa and VBT.

“On Monday (August 12) VBT informed our clients that the artist is in the Kruger National Park and yesterday they were informed that he is in Zimbabwe,” the laywers say in the letter.

“Clearly there is no semblance of truth in these statements at all, especially in light of the fact that Delmari, who claims to be his lawful agent, confirmed that Robert Kelly departed for John F Kennedy Airport in the US on August 11 2013.”

But Kwinana responded in a letter, saying Crystal View had forfeited the money because it made a late payment.

“The cancellation of the artist’s performance, scheduled for August 17 and 18 2013 at FNB Stadium, was due to VBT’s failure to pay (for) the artist’s performance on July 31 2013. All monies paid will be forfeited. Thus Makhanda retained the sum of R2.4 million paid to it,” Kwinana wrote.

Lungisa and his co-accused said they would not discuss the matter as it was before court.

The four are due back in court on October 30.

R Kelly: Broken promises and money on the move

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