Majali memorial set for Thursday

A memorial service for controversial businessman Sandi Majali will be held at the Bryanston Methodist Church on Thursday afternoon, his lawyer, John Ngcebetsha, said today.

Funeral arrangements are still being finalised.

The 48-year-old Majali was found dead in his room at the Sandton Quatermain Hotel in Johannesburg on Sunday morning.

Ngcebetsha yesterday said it was highly unlikely Majali’s death was a suicide.

“There is no evidence that suggests that at all. It seems highly unlikely at this point,” Ngcebetsha told Sapa.

The family has decided to appoint an independent pathologist to examine the body.

“They appeal to all to avoid speculation of those results, to enable the results to speak for themselves,” Ngcebetsha said.

He said the family confirmed that at the time of his death Majali had been suffering from a “respiratory challenge” for which he was undergoing treatment.

He had been staying at the hotel to rest and receive treatment at the time of his death.

Ngcebetsha also said Majali’s family believed there had been attempts to unfairly persecute him during his life.

“They call for the media to back off from this and let him rest peacefully,” he said.

Majali, who was said to be in financial trouble, came into the public eye following his role in the so-called Oilgate scandal that saw him “donate” R11 million of PetroSA’s funds to the ANC ahead of the 2004 elections.

He was arrested this October by the SA Police Service Commercial Crimes Unit on fraud charges after the directorships of mining company Kalahari Resources were changed from Brian Amos Mashile and his sister, Daphne Mashile-Nkosi, to a group of eight people including Majali.

He was released on bail.
 
The two siblings had to bring an urgent interdict before the High Court in Johannesburg to get themselves reinstated as directors of the company.

Majali was due to appear in the Johannesburg Specialised Commercial Crimes Court again on January 18.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga yesterday said charges against Majali would be dropped.

“When we (have received) a valid death certificate we will have to withdraw all charges against him on the 18th of January,” he said.

Majali’s three co-accused, Stephan Khoza, Haralambos Sferopoulous and Elvis Bongani Ndala, recently appeared in court over their mental fitness to stand trial. 

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