FORMER Bophuthatswana president Lucas Mangope was on Tuesday found guilty on some 90 charges of fraud and theft totalling R2,8-million, most of which was stolen from his own Bahurutshe-Bo-Manyane tribe. Judge Tom Mullins will deliver judgment on the remaining 89 fraud and theft charges, totalling about R18-million, on Wednesday.
Mangope has been found guilty of defrauding his tribe of R2,6-million in royalties from the Marico chrome mine. The royalties from the mine should have been paid to his tribe, Judge Mullins told the Mmabatho High Court while delivering his 260-page judgment. However, from the time Mangope became president of the homeland in 1979, up until 1994, the royalties were no longer deposited in the tribal account. Mangope claimed the mine belonged to his family. In addition he spent R13000 a month on personal expenses, and used another R250000 on housing for workers at a factory he owned.
When his government was about to collapse in 1994, Mangope told his tribe the money had been invested.
Mangope has not been found guilty of all the 184 charges arising from the Skweyiya commission inquiry, which investigated embezzlement of public funds under his administration. He was recently arrested and released on bail of R50000 on fraud charges not associated with this trial.