State to call more witnesses in Mabuyakhulu corruption trial
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DURBAN - THE State is expected to call two witnesses on Tuesday in the corruption trial involving former economic development and tourism MEC and ANC KZN deputy chairperson Mike Mabuyakhulu and 15 others.
The trial began last week in the Durban High Court. The charges range from corruption to money laundering and emanate from the alleged payment of R28 million for the North Sea Jazz Festival in 2012 that never took place.
According to the indictment, the alleged main role-players are: Mabuyakhulu; Desmond Golding – head of the Department of Economic Development and Tourism; Ceaser Mkhize – owner and member of Soft Skills Communication 100 CC, Shaka Holdings and Maqhoboza Traders CC; Nothando Zungu – member of Soft Skills Communication and Ishashalazi Production CC; and Mabheleni Ntuli – sole member of Supersize Investment 20 CC.
The State alleges that although Golding was already informed by Mojo, the owners of the event in the Netherlands, on October 2, 2012, that the event was no longer going to take place, he instructed that payment be authorised in November that year.
On Monday, Bongani Shezi, former chief financial officer at the Department of Economic Development and Tourism, testified that he was instructed by Golding to effect payment and he feared the consequences should he have ignored the instruction.
Shezi told the court he was instructed to pay the remaining R26m to Soft Skills Communication 100 CC, which allegedly organised the jazz festival.
Among the witnesses expected to testify on Tuesday is the Hawks investigating officer who was asked by presiding Judge Mahendra Chetty to clarify information in his affidavit when he applied for a search warrant of Golding’s properties. This was after the defence demanded to know what information the officer relied on when he applied for a search warrant.
Golding’s lawyer advocate Khumbu Shazi argued that the investigator referred to a document during his application for a search warrant, but this document was not provided to the defence.
State advocate Reena Ramouthar said she would call two witnesses.
Of the R28m the department allegedly paid to Soft Skills Communication, the State alleges that Mabuyakhulu was given R300 000 which was allegedly paid into his personal bank account by Maqhoboza Traders CC. Mkhize appears as the company’s representative.
The other accused are Zandile Mbongwa, Brenda Ninela and Ntokozo Ndlovu.
The other companies facing charges are Ishinga Holdings and DMD Capital (PTY) Ltd.
The accused were arrested in 2018, and their assets have been attached by the Asset Forfeiture Unit.