Bobby Motaung prosecutor out of the fire into the frying pan

2013-08-04 10:00

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The prosecutor on whose watch two cases linked to the Mbombela Stadium tender were struck off the roll will not be disciplined by his superiors. But he remains under investigation in connection with another high-profile case.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) called Advocate Patrick Nkuna, a prosecutor, to explain himself after the Nelspruit Regional Court in June expunged the fraud and theft case against Kaizer Chiefs manager Bobby Motaung, his Lefika Emerging Equity partner Herbert Theledi and former Lefika chief executive Chris Grip.

In court, Nkuna produced two contradicting letters from his superiors about where the case should be heard.

One letter said the case should be transferred to the high court while the other favoured the regional court.

He suggested in open court that his superiors did not see eye to eye, saying “... there is war within the NPA”.

The trio was charged with using a false tax certificate when they bid for the design tender for the stadium, forging an Mbombela council letter to get a R1 million overdraft, and stealing R143 million.

The contradictory letters led Magistrate Roelf Smith to provisionally strike the matter from the court roll.

A second stadium-linked case, involving former Mbombela municipal manager Jacob Dladla, former technical manager in the Ehlanzeni District Municipality, Tebogo Kubeka, and lawyer Michael Romanos was also struck from the court roll because Nkuna had not provided the defence with copies of the docket.

NPA spokesperson Medupe Simasiku said the issue of conflicting documents had been resolved, though he did not provide details.

Nkuna, Simasiku explained, would remain a member of the prosecuting team.

“Both cases will be reinstated at the appropriate time. The NPA wants the court to decide if the accused are guilty or not,” he said.

Nkuna has previously told City Press he is not allowed to speak to the media.

Meanwhile, City Press has learnt that the prosecutor faces a separate complaint that is under investigation by the NPA.

It is alleged he withdrew charges against five people accused of fraud and theft in connection with a land-restitution deal in Badplaas, Mpumalanga.

The five were implicated in forensic reports for allegedly taking part in what is considered the biggest land-restitution scam in the nation, dating back to around 2003.

Interested land owners have,through Van Wyk and Ayre Attorneys, written to the NPA complaining that Nkuna withdrew the charges despite overwhelming evidence against the five accused.

“Neither the complainants nor other interested parties were consulted prior to the withdrawal of the charges,” the letter, which City Press has seen, reads.

Simasiku could only say this complaint was being looked into.

“The representations pertaining to (this matter) are receiving our attention and the complainant will be informed of the outcome thereof once the investigation has been completed,” he said.

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