/ 22 February 2008

Alleged SACP benefactor Modise denied bail

Controversial businessman Charles Modise was denied bail in the Kimberly Magistrate’s Court on Friday.

Modise is being investigated by the Scorpions and faces various charges, including fraud, forgery and corruption in the Northern Cape.

Magistrate Andre Williams postponed the matter to July 9 for further investigations.

Modise, meanwhile, will remain in custody.

The matter against Modise began in September 2007 when he was arrested in Gauteng by the Scorpions as part of an investigation into alleged tender fraud of R20-million.

His bail application has been postponed several times due to changes in his legal team and efforts to establish if he is a South African citizen.

Delivering his judgement on the bail application, Williams said the court was convinced that there was sufficient evidence to doubt his South African citizenship and that he was in fact from Malawi.

The magistrate said it was also evident that Modise was very smart and arrogant enough to fraudulently use state and court papers.

”It is clear the applicant would use any means to cover his tracks,” Williams said.

Bail was then denied.

Modise’s attorney, Andre Potgieter, said he would study the bail judgement with his client and decide the way forward.

”One possibility is an appeal for bail.”

Scorpions spokesperson Tlali Tlali — who attended the bail judgement — said in reaction that the Scorpions welcomed the judgement.

Tlali said further arrests in the matter were still a possibility.

Reacting to a question, Tlali said it was unfortunate that the investigation into Modise was seen as an attempt to get to ”certain” members of the South African Communist Party (SACP).

”It is not the case.”

Tlali said the Scorpions’ investigation was focused on specific charges of fraud, corruption, forgery and others against Modise.

He said there was another investigation by the police, which dealt with the issue of an alleged R500 000 donation.

”The two are two separate investigations,” said Tlali, adding that the investigations were done by two separate entities.

Modise made headlines after he apparently laid a complaint with the police against the SACP, relating to a R500 000 donation he said he made to the SACP in 2002.

He alleged the money had been given to Congress of South African Trade Unions president Willie Madisha, who said he delivered the money to SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande.

Nzimande denied receiving the money. — Sapa