Moloi ‘abused people’s trust’

2013-08-16 00:00

HIGH-RANKING ANC official, former influential KwaZulu-Natal businessman and councillor with the uMgungundhlovu District Municipality Lucky Moloi (48) should not be turned into a “sacrificial lamb”.

This was the submission made by Moloi’s attorney, Simphiwe Moloi, when he yesterday urged regional court magistrate Jaco Jordaan not to send Moloi to jail for committing corruption and “making one mistake” in 2003.

The court will sentence Moloi today.

State advocate Makhosi Mthembu said Moloi had abused the trust of the people who elected him as a councillor. She said the fact that he was a respected businessman and high-ranking politician were aggravating factors. She said corruption has become “fashionable” among those in senior positions and must be stopped. To do so, courts must hand down sentences that would ensure justice was seen to be done, she said.

She called for a sentence of “not less than five years’ imprisonment” to be imposed on Moloi.

In terms of the latest legislation, there is a minimum sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment for corruption. However, Moloi was charged under a prior act, in terms of which no minimum sentence is applicable.

It also emerged yesterday that Moloi has agreed to hand over three vehicles — a Hyundai bakkie, a Mercedes Benz 240 and a Mercedes Benz E270CDI, which are collectively worth R180 000 — to the Asset Forfeiture Unit. But advocate Hans Cheetanlal said this would happen only once appeal proceedings in the case have been finalised.

Moloi was found guilty of corruptly accepting R200 000 as “commission” and of influencing the uMgungundlovu District Municipality to buy MIB house in Langalibalele street at an inflated price of R6 850 000 in 2003.

The seller had only asked for R6 million.

The court ruled in its judgment that despite the actions of Moloi and his accomplices, who included former estate agent Neville Watts and former councillor Themba Zungu — both of whom have since died — the municipality did not in fact suffer real prejudice because the valuations showed the building was worth more than what was paid for it.

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