Questions on Royal Trust CEO

2012-10-24 00:00

WHY was the former CEO of the Royal Household Trust, who was fingered for allegedly defrauding it of more than R3 million, not prosecuted?

This was the question asked by KZN MPL Jo-Ann Downs (ACDP) during a sitting of the legislature’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) yesterday.

Downs said she understood that the Trust had a recovery plan, but that it was not recovering any of the stolen money.

Scopa chairperson KK Nkosi (ANC) summarised what Downs had said for Trust chairperson Judge Jerome

Ngwenya, who was sitting on the other side of the room.

“He was found to be misbehaving. They cornered him. He confessed and said he would pay the money, and you did not press criminal charges,” Nkosi said.

Ngwenya replied that additional facts had emerged that the trust was not initially aware of.

“We were given an explanation and sought legal opinion.

“We were satisfied with the opinion and that was how far the matter would go. Other than myself, there were no other witnesses and any case that goes to court requires witnesses.

“The cornering part I don’t know about,” Ngwenya said.

Downs said she wanted a copy of the legal opinion.

ANC MPL Belinda Scott suggested it be referred to attorney John Wills in the KZN government’s Integrity Unit.

He would be able to give another opinion on whether the former CEO should be prosecuted.

Luthuli, a grandson of Nobel laureate Chief Albert Luthuli, resigned while facing a disciplinary hearing after an internal probe. He did not respond to a detailed message left on his cellphone yesterday.

• The Royal Household Trust was formed to generate funds for the royal family so that it would be less dependent on the government.

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