Bobby Motaung prosecutor in trouble

2013-06-30 10:00

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Advocate ordered to explain why case was struck off the roll.

The prosecutor in the case against Kaizer Chiefs boss Bobby Motaung has been ordered to explain to his superiors tomorrow why the matter has been struck from the court roll.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) is also investigating prosecutor Advocate Patrick Nkuna’s contention that he received conflicting orders about where the case should be heard.

Nkuna is leading the prosecution of Motaung and two co-accused in a case related to Nelspruit’s R1.2 billion Mbombela soccer stadium.

This week Motaung, his business partner at Lefika Emerging Equity (Pty) Ltd, Herbert Theledi, and the company’s chief executive officer, Chris Grip, got a temporary reprieve from prosecution.

Magistrate Roelf Smith struck the case from the roll in the Nelspruit Regional Court on Tuesday, saying he could see no progress in the matter.

This came after Nkuna told the court he had two letters containing conflicting instructions from his NPA bosses about where the trial should be heard.

One letter called for it to go to the high court, while the other disputed this.

In court, Nkuna said: “A deputy director signed the indictment for the case to go to high court and now this shows his letter was undermined.

“I hope this will not put my job on the line?.?.?.?There is war within the NPA.”

Now Nkuna – who declined to comment to City Press because he is not allowed to speak to the media – is on the carpet for his comments.

Medupe Simasiku, spokesperson for the NPA, said: “The issue relating to the purported conflicting instructions is being investigated by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions: North Gauteng and we will take it from there.

“The prosecutor who

allegedly made a statement in court has been requested to provide his version of events to the Director of Public Prosecutions (tomorrow) to bring clarity to what appears to be internal miscommunication between the relevant individuals,” Simasiku added.

The NPA is still insisting the case will be reinstated once all the issues that saw it being struck from the roll have been resolved.

Motaung, Grip and Theledi were facing charges of using a false tax certificate when they bid for a tender to design the stadium.

They were also accused of forging an Mbombela council letter to get a R1 million overdraft and of the theft of R143 million.

The other case the trio is involved in was also struck from the roll – because Nkuna did not comply with a court order to give copies of the docket to the defence.

They were charged, along with former Mbombela municipal manager Jacob Dladla, former Ehlanzeni district technical manager Tebogo Kubeka and lawyer Michael Ramanos.

In this matter, they were charged with fraud, corruption and contravention of the Municipal Finance Management Act to the value of R920 million in relation to the stadium tenders.

Motaung’s lawyer, Zola Majavu, told City Press on Friday: “We won’t say anything. Let the state do what it wants to do.”

This week’s drama has enraged senior police officers in Mpumalanga, with some suggesting the cases were being deliberately sabotaged.

Two members of the Hawks in Mpumalanga, who spoke only on condition of anonymity, said they smelt a rat.

“What we are seeing is that there are divisions within the NPA. Some of them don’t want to take responsibility and if they had a way of killing the case, they would.

“It’s just that they don’t know how it was investigated and are therefore resorting to technicalities,” said one.

The second told City Press: “The investigation is complete and can’t be tampered with. The public has to know that we’re not in the wrong here, but the NPA (is). The indictment was signed and one wonders how it could be overruled.”

Bonakele Majuba, the provincial secretary of the SA Communist Party, which has been extremely vocal about bringing the case to court, said it appeared some people were “untouchable”.

“We believe that Motaung and the others must have their day in court and be cleared if they have to be. This is a mockery and travesty of justice.

“Why do these contradictions happen when top guys are involved?” Majuba asked.

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