|Charge: Bobby and Mbombela Stadium|
IT was a shocking phone-call. Thursday afternoon. All charges against Bobby Motaung have been dropped. Be careful what you write now.
What? After SIX attempts to get his corruption case dropped, the son of Kaizer and general manager of South Africa’s biggest football franchise, was going to get clean away with his part in the huge fraud surrounding the building of the Mbombela Stadium for the 2010 World Cup?
Remember this was a case which has cost lives. Former Mbombela speaker, Jimmy Mohlala, and Mpumalanga sport and culture spokesperson Sammy Mpatlanyane are both dead after questions were asked over the R1.2bn cost of the giraffe-strewn Mbombela World Cup venue.
Mohlala was shot dead in January 2009. Mpatlanyane was killed in January 2010. So far, Motaung and his co-accused, Herbert Theledi and Chris Gribb, have not been officially linked with those deaths. They were originally charged with a R143m fraud.
But I can reassure South Africans. The NPA is not done yet. And the Hawks still have their claws in to Bobby, the man who boasted that he needed no CV for his lucrative role in “the family business.”
Motaung was released on R15,000 bail, reduced from the original R200,000. When it was suggested Motaung should be suspended from his job as Kaizer Chiefs general manager – where he oversees transfers and, just this month, decided NOT to renew Jimmy Tau’s contract amid a storm of protest – Bobby insisted the case had nothing to do with the AmaKhosi.
Three months ago, I spoke to the investigating officer who arrested “Bobsteak” twice. There was a particular storm when he collared Motaung for a second time IN COURT on March 1.
My source assured me then: “We have a watertight case against Mr Motaung. I would not have arrested him in those circumstances unless I had all the evidence I need.”
And last night, I tracked down the same gentleman again, though his telephone number has been changed. After an initial hesitation, he recognised my voice and told me: “Yes, I stand by what I said then. I am confident in the case I have against Mr Motaung and his two co-accused.”
Tomorrow I will try to persuade my source to go public and talk on “Bollockz” my show on Thursday morning on www.ballz.co.uk. We go live on the internet between 10am and noon.
My source will speak to the NPA in the meantime. Incredibly he was not consulted last week. Those charges of fraud, corruption and forgery may have been dropped by Magistrate Roelf Smith, but no certificate of “Nolle prosequi” (indicating, finally, the case will not be pursued) has been issued.
Motaung was first arrested in August 2012 and then again earlier this year in a case described as “high-profile” by the Neslpruit Regional Court. Much like the Oscar Pistorius case, delays and prevarication from Motaung’s lawyer Zola Majavu and confusion in the NPA have seen the case drag on. And on.
Magistrate Smith used two letters from the NPA, showing a conflict over where the case would be heard, to justify the dropping of charges. Majavu claimed: “The NPA is at war with itself,” and the case was duly removed from the roll.
But that does not mean an end to the matter. And remember, there is a second, bigger charge pending after that second arrest – a R920m case involving Motaung, Gribb, his former lawyer Michael Romanos, Mbombela’s former municipal manager Jacob Dladla, and former Ehlanzeni district municipality technical services manager, Tebogo Kubeka.
That charge suggests Bobby was part of the “gang” who corruptly collaborated to appoint construction giant Basil Reed to build the stadium.
My source says: “I will talk to the NPA. This case is not over. Not by a long way. This is just the first part of a bigger fish we want to fry. The public must know about the Mbombela Stadium.”