Motaung charge withdrawal rejected

By Drum Digital
26 April 2013

The Nelspruit Magistrate's Court on Friday ruled that charges against Kaizer Chiefs boss Bobby Motaung, in two separate cases, would not be withdrawn.

Earlier this week, defence lawyers in the cases asked that charges against Motaung and his co-accused be provisionally withdrawn until the State was better prepared.

The two cases involve charges related to the construction of the Mbombela Stadium for the 2010 Fifa Soccer World Cup.

The first, involving R143 million, implicates Motaung, his business partner Herbert Theledi, and former Lefika Emerging Equity CEO Chris Gribb.

The second relates to R920 million, and involves Motaung, Theledi, Gribb, Gribb's former lawyer Michael Romanos, former Mbombela municipal manager Jacob Dladla, and former Ehlanzeni district municipality technical services manager Tebogo Kubeka.

On the R143 million case, Magistrate Willie Wilkens rejected Motaung's application to have the charges withdrawn.

Wilkens said that although the State had asked for a number of postponements, it wasn't necessary to strike the case from the court roll.

"It's clear that there have been hiccups from the State, which led to a number of postponements, but that doesn't remedy or help the accused to be cleared of the charges," he said.

"Looking at a number of aspects... there is no doubt the accused face [serious] charges."

Thus, the application was refused.

Wilkens said the State needed to provide the defence with the indictment so that the case could be transferred to the High Court for trial.

Following consultations with the defence, the first case was postponed to June 24, when a trial date would be set.

In the second case, involving R920 million, Magistrate Shirley Msibi also dismissed Motaung's application for the charges to be dropped.

The accused had not yet pleaded to charges of fraud, three counts of corruption, conspiracy to commit corruption, and contravention of the Municipal Finance Management Act.

"It's clear that the case had delays, but the court noticed that this is a complex issue and a serious matter; therefore the court didn't grant the removal of the case from the roll," said Msibi.

Motaung's lawyer, Laurance Hodes, told the court that compact discs given to the defence on Monday, containing details of charges, could not be opened.

He then asked the court to order that the State provide the details before June 24.

Msibi postponed the second case to June 24, and ordered the State to provide contents of the docket to the defence by May 6.

-by Sapa

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