Moloi boosted bribe

2011-09-28 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG businessman Lucky Moloi played a central role in securing substantial “commissions” for himself and two other councillors in the sale of a building to the uMgungundlovu District Municipality, according to property agent Neville Watts, who struck a plea bargain with the state over his role in the transaction.

Watts was accused along with former Msunduzi deputy mayor Alpha Shelembe, his wife Joyful Shelembe, sister Nelisiwe Shelembe, Moloi, former Msunduzi executive committee member Themba Zungu and bodyguard Thembinkosi Xaba.

The six are charged with corruption, fraud and money laundering relating to the sale of a building, the MIB House in Langalibalele Street, to uMgungundlovu District Municipality.

It is alleged they inflated the price from R6 million to R6,850 million in order to allegedly get kickbacks.

Yesterday the Pietermaritzburg Regional Court set the trial down for next June and November.

Prosecutor Rema Mahabeer said this should be the last trial date, if the accused apply for the trial to be postponed again the state will oppose this.

“They have been delaying this case from the onset as they always found ways to ask for postponements,” said Mahabeer.

Magistrate Jaco Jordan adjourned the trial for next year and warned the accused to put their houses in order regarding payments to their lawyers.

Watts turned state witness. He said in his plea statement that he was friends with Moloi and Zungu at the time. He said in 2002 he became aware the municipality wanted to buy a property to provide parking for its staff. He said as a property broker he knew of a suitable property — the MIB House.

Watts knew the owner, Gavin Breetzke, and added that Moloi was the property developer.

“Both Zungu and Moloi made it clear to me that they want commission in order to motivate the sale of MIB House to the council of the municipality. Zungu, at the same time, informed me that another councillor of the municipality, one Alpha Shelembe, would have to be consulted. This I understood to mean that he would be part of the deal in receiving commission,” said Watts in the statement.

Breetzke wanted R6 million for his property, and the commission agreed on was R500 000. Of that R500 000, R150 000 would be retained by Watts and R350 000 be shared by Zungu, Moloi and Shelembe.

“Shortly after, Moloi informed me that their cut of the commission was insufficient, and that the amount of the commission payable had to be increased,” said Watts.

He said Moloi suggested that he discuss the matter with Breetzke and requested the commission to be increased to R650 000, with Watts still getting R150 000.

Watts said that he is further aware that Moloi at some stage asked Breetzke that a further R200 000 be added to the commission with no changes on what he would retain.

Watts received R150 000 as a commission and Zungu, Shelembe and Moloi shared R650 000, he said.

“… I was also aware that Breetzke simply wanted to make R6 million from the sale …” he said. He revealed that he was paid R450 000 as his commission.

“Zungu informed me that he and Shelembe had a lot of influence in the ANC caucus in the municipality and that many things could be achieved once caucusing takes place,” said Watts.

“I was under no misapprehension about the fact that Zungu, Shelembe and Moloi would caucus on the matter with other ANC councillors in the municipality and that a decision to purchase MIB House would be a formality as a result of commission to be paid to them. I assumed that Zungu, Shelembe and Moloi ought to have recused themselves from a meeting where a decision would be taken.”

Watts said he requested the names of the relevant parties and what amount they would receive in order to effect payment.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.