Mbombela Stadium corruption: Hawks make arrests

2012-08-15 10:50

Members of the elite police unit, The Hawks, have arrested two people and are locating a third in connection with alleged tender fraud and corruption related to the Mpumalanga’s R1.2-billion Mbombela Stadium.

Hawks spokesperson McIntosh Polela confirmed the arrests but declined to give the names of the two individuals and to say if they were arrested in Johannesburg or Nelspruit.

“We’ve arrested two people and are locating the third one. They will appear in the Nelspruit Magistrates’ Court tomorrow,” was all Polela would say.

City Press was reliably informed last week that that three warrants of arrest were issued by the Nelspruit Regional Court on August 7.

According to unconfirmed reports, by eNews, Kaizer Chiefs FC manager Bobby Motaung was arrested. Motaung is a director of Lefika Emerging Equity (Pty) Ltd, which won a tender to design the stadium.

The construction of the stadium has been fraught with allegations of fraud and corruption that might have led to the assassination of former Mbombela council speaker Jimmy Mohlala.

Mohlala was gunned down at his house in KaNyamazane Township in January 2009. He was hailed as the whistleblower on the matter and was about to lay criminal charges when he was killed.

Mohlala’s assassins are yet to be found after the charges against five accused in the case were withdrawn in January.

The Mbombela Municipality instituted several internal investigations after detecting questionable transactions but no one had faced criminal charges to date.

Former municipal manager Jacob Dladla came close to being held accountable for the alleged mismanagement of municipal funds relating to the stadium debacle.

He was found guilty in an internal disciplinary hearing and dismissed in March 2009. However, the ANC’s Ehlanzeni region instructed its councillors to take a council resolution to clear Dladla of all the charges and pay him a golden handshake of R1.5-million.

The municipality said the resolution was taken to avoid incurring about R13 million in legal fees because Dladla had approached the Labour Court to have his dismissal overturned.

Former mayor Justice Ntsibande was recalled due to the instability that was caused by the tender.

» This story was updated after first published.

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