Mbombela’s Dladla to appear in court

2012-10-15 07:29

Former Mbombela municipal manager Jacob Dladla apparently handed himself over to the police yesterday afternoon after the Hawks had obtained a warrant of arrest against him for  alleged fraud in the Mbombela stadium tender.

Dladla is expected to appear in the Nelspruit regional court today, along with Kaizer Chief manager Bobby Motaung, his partner at Lefika Emerging Equity (Pty) Ltd, Herbert Theledi, and former Lefika chief executive officer Chris Grip, on charges of alleged fraud of R143 million related to the R1.2-billion stadium.

A highly placed police source confirmed Dladla’s arrest to City Press.

But when contacted for comment, Hawks spokesperson McIntosh Polela said: “I don’t have details yet. I’m driving to Nelspruit as we speak.”

Dladla was a municipal manager when the tender was awarded, and an investigation report by Ngobe-Nkosi Attorneys, on behalf of the municipal council, into his conduct accused him of acting like an "untouchable".

Motaung, Theledi and Grip were arrested in August, for allegedly:
» Using a false tax certificate when they bid to get the tender to design the Mbombela stadium;

» Forging a Mbombela council letter with the fake signature of former Mbombela municipal manager Sgananda Siboza to get a R1-million overdraft from a bank; and

» Alleged theft of R143 million.

The construction of the stadium was fraught with allegations of fraud and corruption and apparently led to the assassination of former Mbombela council speaker Jimmy Mohlala.

Mohlala was gunned down at his house in KaNyamazane Township in January 2009.

He was hailed as the whistleblower on the matter and was about to lay criminal charges and testify against Dladla in a disciplinary hearing when he was killed.

Dladla had all along been enjoying protection from the ANC in the province. He was implicated in tender irregularities and fired in 2009 following a disciplinary hearing.

However, the ANC’s Ehlanzeni region instructed its councillors to take a council resolution to clear Dladla of all the charges and pay him a R1.5-million handshake.

The municipality said the resolution was taken to avoid incurring about R13-million in legal fees because Dladla had applied in the Labour Court to have his dismissal overturned.

The campaign to have Dladla re-instated began in 2009, but former Mbombela mayor Lassy Chiwayo refused to bow to pressure from the ANC regional executive committee, which even threatened to recall him.

Groups of people are expected to march outside the court this morning in support of the arrest.

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