Mabuza welcomes Motaung’s arrest

2012-08-21 07:31

Mpumalanga premier David Mabuza has welcomed last week’s arrests of Kaizer Chiefs manager Bobby Motaung and two others for alleged tender corruption in the R1.2-billion Mbombela World Cup Stadium while Cosatu in the province has called for a probe into all big provincial tenders.

Motaung and his business partner in Lefika Emerging Equity, Herbert Theledi, as well as the company’s former chief executive officer, Chris Grip, were arrested by the Hawks in connection with fraud worth R143 million.

Mabuza said in a statement that the arrests were a “good step in the right direction”.

“We welcome the move by the Hawks. This is taking us into closing this chapter since this matter has been there for a very long time. We are not saying those who are arrested are guilty, but at least this will help all of us to know if there were irregularities or not,” he said.

“There have been serious speculations around (the matter) and the people out there have a right to know if really there was corruption or not.

“Therefore we believe that with this move, at least the truth will prevail, and that there will closure to this matter,” Mabuza added.

Motaung and Theledi were released on R50 000 bail each while Grip, who pleaded poverty, was granted bail of R20 000.

The three allegedly submitted a fraudulent tax certificate when Lefika bid for the tender to design the Mbombela Stadium in 2006.

The alternative charge is theft of R143 million.

They are also accused of faking a letter on a Mbombela Municipality letterhead and forging the signature of an official to apply for a R1-million overdraft.

It is believed that former Mbombela speaker Jimmy Mohlala was assassinated in January 2009 because he blew the whistle on stadium tender corruption.

Cosatu secretary in Mpumalanga Fidel Mlombo said the province was a safe haven for corruption and 14 whistleblowers had been assassinated in the province since 1997.

Mlombo said the union demanded a probe into all big tenders awarded in the province in order to determine if there was corruption.

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