Majali co-accused sent for observation
Three people accused of fraud alongside controversial businessman Sandile Majali will be sent for mental observation, the Johannesburg Specialised Commercial Crimes Court ordered on Friday.
“I am reading from a ‘constitution’ of the Republic of South Africa ... It seems they want to take over the Republic of South Africa,” magistrate Ashika Ramlaal said before placing her hand over her mouth and shaking her head.
“I believe it would be in the interests of justice that all three accused be referred for mental observation.”
Friday’s court appearance of Haralambos [Harry] Sferopoulous, Stephan Khoza and Elvis Bongani Ndala was related to allegations that the directorship of mining company Kalahari Resources had been changed from Brian Amos Mashile and his sister, Daphne Mashile-Nkosi, to the group of five, including Majali.
Majali’s co-accused are listed as directors of the “South African Community Government Union” (SACGU). Its website, www.sacgu.org, carries bizarre graphs and pictures.
According to the website, Khoza is the “Master” of the SACGU, Ndala the “deputy” and “doctor” Sferopoulous in charge of “economics”.
An extract from website’s home page reads: “Overseeing the multinational people of the Republic of South Africa, united by the common fate of our land, establishing human rights and freedoms, civic peace and accord, preserving the historical established state unity, proceeding from the universally recognised state principles of equality and self-determination of peoples ...”
It states that its main objective is to “develop human capital”.
The accused allegedly removed Kalahari Resources’s two directors from the Companies and Intellectual Property Registration Office (Cipro) database in August.
Following the change an urgent interdict was brought before the high court in Johannesburg last month. The court ruled that Cipro reinstate the siblings as directors of the company.
State prosecutor Shaun Abrahams earlier told the court that according to the trio’s background, they should urgently be referred for mental evaluation.
To strengthen his request, Abrahams cited examples such as Sferopoulous already needing to be medicated, and that he and Khoza previously absconded from Sterkfontein mental hospital. It was also established that Khoza has previously been in court over a matter similar to the one pending.
In June 2004, Khoza and Ndala allegedly went to a police station in Johannesburg posing as police officers.
“[They] produced fraudulent police ID cards, requested ammunition and asked police to assist them to apprehend a certain person,” Abrahams said.
Defence attorney Sofela Selosi presented to the court a document belonging to Khoza declaring him mentally fit. Khoza allegedly went to visit his mother in Mozambique, and visited a specialist while there. The document states Khoza was fit and able for daily activities.
“It’s insignificant ... this [document] is a few days after he absconded [from Sterkfontein hospital] ... [We] don’t even know if it’s an official document,” Abrahams said.
During court Khoza repeatedly raised his hand when his mental stability came under discussion.
Selosi told the court Ndala never previously suffered from mental problems, and that his clients were entitled to their opinions.
The court, which was filled with family members and media, saw the three accused arriving in leg irons.
Majali and accused number five, Linda Welencia Dlamini, were out on bail.
Kalahari Resources owns a 40% stake in Kalagadi Manganese, the mining company developing an R11-billion manganese mine and sinter plant in the Northern Cape, as well as a smelter at Coega.
The Industrial Development Corporation owns 10% of Kalagadi Manganese, while steel producer ArcelorMittal owns the remaining 50% stake.
Majali came into the public eye following his role in the so-called Oilgate saga, which saw him “donate” R11-million of national oil company PetroSA’s funds to the ANC ahead of the 2004 elections.
The three will be back in court on December 3, and will remain in custody until then.—Sapa