Mbombela stadium ‘fraud’: Dladla gets bail

2012-10-15 15:20
Sizwe sama Yende
The former manager of Mbombela local municipality, Jacob Dladla, was released on R15 000 bail in the Nelspruit regional court this afternoon.

Dladla appeared on charges of fraud, corruption and the alleged contravention of the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA) involving R920 million.

The charges relate to alleged tender corruption in the construction of the Mbombela World Cup soccer stadium worth R1.2 billion.

Reading out the draft charges prosecutor Patrick Nkuna said that Dladla had allegedly changed reports of the bid adjudication and bid evaluation committees in awarding the tender, and appointed an official not employed by the Mbombela council to chair an illegally constituted bid evaluation committee.

“[Dladla] breached the trust the municipality had in him,” Nkuna said.

Dladla handed himself over to the police yesterday afternoon after the Hawks had obtained a warrant for his arrest.

Nkuna said he was still going to consult and decide if Dladla’s case could be joined with that of Kaizer Chief manager Bobby Motaung, his partner at Lefika Emerging Equity (Pty) Ltd, Herbert Theledi, and former Lefika chief executive office, Chris Grip.

The three appeared in the same court ahead of Dladla today on charges of alleged fraud involving R143 million in the stadium tender. They were arrested in August.

They are accused of using a false tax certificate when they bid to get the tender to design the Mbombela stadium.

Also, they allegedly forged a Mbombela council letter with a fake signature of former Mbombela municipal manager Sgananda Siboza to get a R1-million overdraft from a bank and committed alleged theft of R143 million.

The R50 000 bail of Motaung and Theledi was extended, so was Grip’s R20 000 bail.

Dladla, Motaung, Theledi and Grips will appear again on October 29.

Former Mbombela council speaker Jimmy Mohlala was shot dead in January 2009 while he was on a crusade to fight corruption related to the stadium tender.

Dladla had all along been enjoying protection from the ANC in the province. He was implicated in tender irregularities and fired in 2009 following a disciplinary hearing.

However, the ANC’s Ehlanzeni region instructed its councillors to take a council resolution early this year to clear Dladla of all the charges and pay him a R1.5-million golden handshake.

The municipality said the resolution was taken to avoid incurring about R13 million in legal fees because Dladla had approached the Labour Court to have his dismissal overturned.

This happened after the ANC deployed new mayor Cathy Dlamini to the municipality following the 2011 local government elections.

Dlamini’s predecessor, Lassy Chiwayo, had refused to re-instate Dladla and was even threatened with dismissal.
» This story was updated after first published.