Speakers wife on fraud rap

2008-07-09 00:00

Three more accused, including the wife of Msunduzi council speaker, Alpha Shelembe, yesterday joined businessman, Lucky Moloi, property developer, Neville Watts, Msunduzi councillor Themba Zungu and Shelembe in the magistrate’s court dock on charges of corruption, fraud and money laundering.

The court granted the three newest accused bail of R2 000 each.

They are; Thembinkosi Xaba, a bodyguard with the VIP Protection Services at the uMgungundhlovu District Municipality; Nelisiwe Audrey Shelembe, who owns a catering company, and Joyful Shelembe, wife of Alpha Shelembe.

Magistrate Paul van Dongen ordered as a condition of bail — at the request of Scorpions advocate, Rema Mahabeer — that Nelisiwe and Joyful Shelembe submit samples of their handwriting for forensic analysis; that all three accused surrender travel their travel documents within 48 hours and that they may not leave the country without written permission. The accused are to report fto police while on bail.

At the time of the alleged acts of corruption between July and December 2003, Zungu, Alpha Shelembe and Moloi were employed as councillors at uMgungundhlovu District Municipality.

Watts was a property agent, who allegedly negotiated the purchase — by the municipality — of MIB house in Langalibalele Street. The council at the time required a property for office and parking space.

It is alleged that Zungu, Alpha Shelembe and Moloi had been instrumental in the “negotiation, proposal, processing, recommendation and approval” of the purchase of the property.

The state alleges that the sellers had agreed to a purchase price of R6 000 000 with a further R500 000 in agents commission, but that the council paid R6 850 000, of which R1 000 000 was shared between Watts, Zungu, Alpha Shelembe and Moloi as “commission”.

According to the charges sheet the money received by Moloi was paid into his bank account, but the sum paid to Zungu was “laundered” into his motor vehicle loan account and into the bank account of new accused, Thembinkosi Xaba.

Alpha Shelembe — allegedly acting in common purpose with his father, L Shelembe, and together with Nelisiwe and Joyful Shelembe — allegedly laundered his share into the accounts of the two women.

Watt faces a money laundering charge for allegedly ensuring that payments to Zungu and Shelembe were made via a third party.

The corruption charges arise from the allegations that Zungu, Alpha Shelembe and Moloi abused their position of trust by corruptly receiving a financial benefit to which they were not entitled.

Watts faces a charge of corruption for allegedly offering them commission as “reward”.

Zungu allegedly got paid R150 000, and Alpha Shelembe and Moloi allegedly received R200 000 each.

The councillors face a fraud charge for allegedly inducing the council to believe that MIB House was the best property purchase.

The case has been postponed to October 15 for further investigation.

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