Arrest warrant for Dladla

2012-10-14 16:15
Mbombela Stadium

Mbombela Stadium

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Mbombela - A warrant of arrest has been issued against controversial former Mbombela municipal manager Jacob Dladla in connection with corruption surrounding the construction of the Mbombela Stadium.

Dladla was municipal manager when soccer boss Bobby Motaung's company, Lefika Emerging Equity, got the contract as consultants for the building of the R1.2bn stadium.

Dladla is expected to appear in the Nelspruit magistrate's court on Monday, along with Motaung, Motaung's business partner, Herbert Theledi and former Lefika chief executive Chris Grib.

"A warrant of arrest has been issued against Mr Dladla. That's all the information we have now," said spokesperson for the National Procecuting Authority in Mpumalanga, Medupi Simasiku, on Sunday.

Hawks spokesperson Mclntosh Polela did not want to comment about the arrest warrant until he had been briefed on the matter.

Sources close to the investigation told African Eye News Service that Dladla was nowhere to be found when police went to arrest him on Sunday.

"We believe he will hand himself over on Monday before appearing in court," said the source.

Motaung and Theledi are out on R50 000 bail each while Grib, who resigned from Lefika two years ago, was granted R20 000 bail by the Nelspruit Regional Court after pleading poverty.

They were arrested on 15 August in connection with fraud, forgery, theft and uttering charges relating to the building of the R1.2bn Mbombela Stadium.

Motaung and Theledi face charges of fraud, forgery, theft and uttering. Grib faces charges of fraud, forgery and uttering only.

Political murders

During Motaung and Theledi’s bail application the prosecution team argued that the case was linked to political murders in the province.

“As the state we are not opposing the [R50 000] bail [proposed by the accused], but the court must bear in mind that this case is very serious and, in all, that it led to the murders that have been taking place in the province,” said State prosecutor Pat Nkuna.

Theledi's legal team objected to the statement and said the case must not be mixed up with other cases that were not in court that day.

Nkuna told the court that the three accused submitted fraudulent South African Revenue Service documents to win the tender as consultants for the construction of the controversial Mbombela Stadium.

He said the tax clearance certificates led to them being paid R143m.

He said the three also approached a bank for an overdraft facility of R1m using a fake letter from the Mbombela local municipality.

“The bank contacted Mbombela and it was reported at Mbombela that the letter doesn't come from them. The signature is not from the official concerned and also the contact details were not of the official concerned too,” said Nkuna.

The case was postponed to allow the defence to go through their clients' charge sheets.

As municipal manager, Dladla was key to the preparations for the 2010 Soccer World Cup and the construction of the Mbombela Stadium.

He was dismissed on 10 December 2009, however, following irregularities surrounding preparations for the World Cup, the building of the Mbombela Stadium and his refusal to implement 361 council resolutions.

Municipal speaker at the time, Jimmy Mohlala, was murdered a week before he was scheduled to testify at a hearing against Dladla regarding Dladla's failure to declare his private business interests with beneficiaries of the 2010 deal, and his role in questionable expenditure involving Lefika.

Mohlala was also reportedly preparing to lodge separate criminal charges against Lefika.

Golden handshake

As early as April 2008 forensic investigators from Ngobe-Nkosi Attorneys recommended that Dladla be dismissed.

Dladla’s disciplinary hearing started in July 2008 and was postponed five times before he was finally sacked.

In January 2010 Dladla approached the labour court to appeal his unfair dismissal.

The matter dragged on in court until November 2011 when Mbombela’s councillors gave him a R1.5m golden handshake, two years after he was dismissed.

The councillors settled with Dladla despite being advised against it by their own legal council Kruger Moeletsi Attorneys senior director Johan du Preez.

The municipality has also withdrawn all criminal charges against Dladla.

Following the golden handshake Mbombela spokesperson Joseph Ngala confirmed that the charges were withdrawn and that the findings of the disciplinary hearing were also nullified.

"If we proceeded with the matter we could have been stuck in court for another two to three years,” said Ngala. 

Read more on:    npa  |  sars  |  bobby motaung  |  jacob dladla  |  mbombela  |  corruption

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