Lawyer turns accused

2013-03-05 00:00

NELSPRUIT — In the blink of an eye, a well-known criminal lawyer in Gauteng went from member of a formidible defence team to one of the accused.

The drama played out in the Nelspruit regional court on Friday.

Lawyer Michael Romanos was helping to defend three men accused of fraud relating to the town’s World Cup soccer stadium, appearing for Chris Grib, former CEO of Lefika Emerging Equity.

The other accused are Kaizer Chiefs boss Bobby Motaung and Nelspruit businessman Herbert Sadness Theledi.

Among other things, it is alleged that Lefika used a falsified tax certificate in winning the stadium tender.

Shortly before the appearance of Motaung, Grib and Theledi, the Hawks arrested Romanos on three charges of corruption and two of fraud.

They swooped while he was meeting, together with Kenny Oldwage (Oscar Pistorius’s lawyer), with prosecutor Patrick Nkuna.

He was taken to the court cells until the case was called, and later released on his own recog-nisance.

The same day, Motaung, Grib and Theledi were arrested on other fraud charges. They were released on R15 000 bail each.

The four were yesterday added to the case in which bid committee chair Tebogo Kubeka and former municipal manager Jacob Dladla face fraud charges.

The state is trying to prove that the accused made misrepresentations to win the bid, and that Dladla and Kubeka altered the bid parameters to favour Lefika.

The case was postponed until April 22.

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