Bobby Motaung arrested

2012-08-16 00:00

KAIZER Chiefs general manager Bobby Motaung was one of two people arrested yesterday in a fraud, forgery and theft case linked to the construction of the Mbombela Stadium in the Mbombela municipal area (Nel­spruit).

Without naming them, Hawks spokesperson Colonel McIntosh Polela said two people were arrested — one in Naturena and another in Cape Town — and they were looking for a third suspect.

Kaizer Chiefs are based in Naturena. A well placed source confirmed to The Witness that Motaung, son of club owner Kaizer Motaung, was one of those arrested yesterday.

The R1 billion Mbombela Stadium was one of the 10 stadiums used during the 2010 World Cup.

Lefika Emerging Equity, a company of which Motaung was an executive director, was fingered as being allegedly involved in fraudulent activities during the stadium’s construction.

Former Mbombela council speaker Jimmy Mohlala was gunned down at his house in KaNyamazane township in 2009 after threatening to expose evidence of corruption in the stadium tender process.

He was hailed as a whistleblower in the matter and was reported to be on the verge of laying criminal charges when he was killed.

Mohlala’s assassins are yet to be found after charges against five accused in the case were withdrawn in January.

It is alleged that Lefika Emerging Equity forged SA Revenue Services (SARS) documents to obtain the tender to build the stadium.

Arrest warrants for three people to be charged in the matter were issued in the Nelspruit Regional Court on Saturday last week, sister paper City Press reported on the weekend.

The two arrested yesterday are expected to appear in the court today.

While media outlets and social networks named Motaung as one of those arrested, Kaizer Chiefs claimed they had not heard anything.

“As of this moment, Kaizer Chiefs has not received any formal confirmation of Bobby Motaung’s arrest. Because of this we cannot comment on the matter,” said club spokesperson Vina Maphosa.

However, he added that “Bobby was absent from work today [yesterday]”.

Safa CEO Robin Petersen said he would comment only once police confirmed the arrests.

“I’ve had a look at all the websites and at this stage there is no confirmation from any police that Bobby Motaung was arrested. Football is a sensitive terrain and I would rather wait for confirmation. I would then consult the president [Kirsten Nematandani] before making any comment,” Petersen told The Witness.

Asked for his reaction to the developments, World Cup LOC CEO Danny Jordaan said he was not aware of Motaung’s arrest.

He added that construction of the stadiums had nothing to do with the organising committee or Fifa, and was the responsibility of local governments.

Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula also refused to comment as he had not heard about the arrests.

Mbombela Municipality spokesperson Joseph Ngala said: “We unfortunately cannot comment at this stage,” adding that they had not yet seen the charge sheet.

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