ANC KZN leader Mabuyakhulu charged with corruption over jazz festival corruption

Mike Mabuyakhulu, the convener of the ANC’s KwaZulu-Natal provincial task team, has been released on R50 000 bail after being arrested for corruption on Thursday over R28-million in provincial government funding that was spent on a jazz festival that never happened.

Mabuyakhulu, the former economic development MEC who was fired in 2016 in a post-elective conference reshuffle, appeared in the Durban Commercial Crime Court alongside 15 co-accused, among them, celebrity businessman Mabheleni Ntuli.

Mabuyakhulu, his former head of department Desmond Golding and a group of service providers were arrested by the Hawks over the funding of the 2012 festival which never happened.

Their arrest comes shortly after the appointment of Mabuyakhulu—who coordinated ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa’s campaign for the December conference in the province— as head of the provincial task team and will be interpreted by some as a political move against the Ramaphosa camp in the province.

Mabuyakhulu was arrested for corruption several years ago in the infamous ‘’Amigos’’ case together with axed MEC, Peggy Nkonyeni, over an alleged R1-million bribe for the ANC from Uruguayan businessman Gaston Savoi. The case against the two was later withdrawn, sparking speculation that it was motivated by the ANC succession battle in the province.


It is not known at this stage what impact the arrest of Mabuyakhulu, who runs the provincial task team along with former chairperson Sihle Zikalala, will have on the process of re-running the unlawful 2015 elective provincial conference. The Pietermaritzburg High Court declared the conference unlawful and the ANC national executive commitee last month appointed the task team to oversee the re-run within three month.

According to the charge sheet, Golding made payments to co-accused Caesar Mkhize’s Soft Skills Communications of R28.5-million for the North Sea Jazz Festival, which was meant to be held in 2012— despite the fact that the event had been cancelled. The money was allegedly distributed among the other companies, including Ntuli’s Super Size Investment, which were meant to have been part of a joint venture with a Rotterdam based partner. The event was cancelled after the agreement was altered by the department to bring in other local companies, but the payments were still made. 

The co-accused— Zandile Mbongwe, Nothando Zungu of Ishashalazi Production, Ntuli, Brenda and Mzwandile Ninela of Ishinga Holdings and Ntokozo Ndlovu of DMD Capital— were all released on bail of R30 000. They will appear in court again on April 8.

Hawks spokesperson Captain Simphiwe Mhlongo, said more arrests were expected to be made soon.

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Paddy Harper
Paddy Harper
Storyteller.

Related stories

Corruption forces health shake-up in Gauteng

Dr Thembi Mokgethi appointed as new health MEC as premier seeks to stop Covid-19 malfeasance

Q&A Sessions: Frank Chikane on the rainbow where colours never meet

Reverend Frank Chikane has just completed six years as the chairperson of the Kagiso Trust. He speaks about corruption, his children’s views and how churches can be mobilised

Zuma maintains his true colours at Zondo commission

The former president’s escapades at the commission of inquiry into state capture are a far cry from Nelson Mandela’s response when summonsed to testify in the high court

DA leader bought wife a car with ‘corruption’ earnings

Senior Ekurhuleni councillor Shabangu purchased a Ford SUV from an alleged R1.2-million kickback

ANC: ‘We’re operating under conditions of anarchy’

In its latest policy documents, the ANC is self-critical and wants ‘consequence management’, yet it’s letting its members off the hook again

Zondo tightens his grip with criminal complaint against Zuma

The state capture commission’s star witness now faces a criminal complaint and another summons
Advertising

Subscribers only

Dozens of birds and bats perish in extreme heat in...

In a single day, temperatures in northern KwaZulu-Natal climbed to a lethal 45°C, causing a mass die-off of birds and bats

Q&A Sessions: Frank Chikane on the rainbow where colours never...

Reverend Frank Chikane has just completed six years as the chairperson of the Kagiso Trust. He speaks about corruption, his children’s views and how churches can be mobilised

More top stories

Eusebius McKaiser: Mpofu, Gordhan caught in the crosshairs

The lawyer failed to make his Indian racist argument and the politician refused to admit he had no direct evidence

Corruption forces health shake-up in Gauteng

Dr Thembi Mokgethi appointed as new health MEC as premier seeks to stop Covid-19 malfeasance

Public-private partnerships are key for Africa’s cocoa farmers

Value chain efficiency and partnerships can sustain the livelihoods of farmers of this historically underpriced crop

Battery acid, cassava sticks and clothes hangers: We must end...

COMMENT: The US’s global gag rule blocks funding to any foreign NGOS that perform abortions, except in very limited cases. The Biden-Harris administration must rescind it
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…