Free State MECs off the hook after NPA withdraws corruption charges

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has withdrawn corruption, fraud and racketeering charges against Free State MEC for agriculture and rural development Benny Malakoane; MEC for sports, arts, culture and recreation Mathabo Leeto and seven others in the Free State high court.

“We are disappointed to learn that charges were dismissed,” Roy Jankielsohn, Democratic Alliance leader in the Free State legislature, said in a statement on Tuesday. He said it appeared that the charges had been dismissed because of the “incompetence of the State in its prosecution”.

The charges relate to alleged R2-billion tender fraud that has crippled the Matjhabeng Local Municipality. The company Gestetner allegedly paid money into the personal account of Leeto’s then husband after being awarded a R20-million tender from the municipality.

“The State wanted to make changes to the indictment regarding the company in question and the problem is that the accused were directors of the said company which has now been liquidated,” the NPA’s Phaladi Shuping told News24.

The DA, however, alleges that the State was privy to this information two weeks prior to Monday’s hearing and has previously postponed the case 15 times.

While the charges were withdrawn, the NPA has ruled out speculation that the State does not have a case.

‘NPA failing to hold ANC leaders accountable’

“There is still a possibility that the State may reinstate charges once we fix the indictment,” Shuping said.

The DA has accused the NPA of failing to hold ANC leaders accountable.

“The withdrawal of these charges once again shows that the NPA is unable to successfully prosecute fraud and corruption cases related to senior ANC politicians,” Jankielsohn said.

Shuping rejected these claims.

“That is a very unfortunate remark, they cannot make such generalised statements,” he said.

The NPA could not provide a time frame on the handing over of the new indictment. — News24

Canny Maphanga
Canny Maphanga
Canny Maphanga is an aspiring documentary filmmaker, a published writer and a TV Reporter from Sunny Durban, Kwa-Zulu Natal with a strong passion for Africa and its endless stories. She has completed her BA journalism degree at Rhodes University. Her craft is constantly under construction as she is continuously learning from the TV/film industry everyday with work experience at Cardova/Tswelopelo, Rhodes Music Radio and SABC(DBN) to name a few.
Advertisting

Seven lean years in the Northern Cape

As the Karoo hopes for an end to its worst drought in a generation, the region’s history may hold important lessons for its future

February 11 1990: Mandela’s media conquest

Nelson Mandela’s release from prison was also South Africa’s first ‘media event’. And, despite the NP’s, and the SABC’s, attempt to control the narrative, the force of Madiba’s personality meant that he emerged as a celebrity

Strike-off case pulls in judge

Judge Mushtak Parker is implicated in an application to strike off his former partners. He is also involved in the fight between the Western Cape high court’s judge president and his deputy

One strike and you’re out – registrar tells unions

A municipal workers’ union is the first to be sanctioned for not following the new rule when deciding whether to go on strike
Advertising

Press Releases

Response to the report of the independent assessors

VUT welcomes the publishing of the report of the independent assessors to investigate concerns of poor governance, leadership, management, corruption and fraud at the university.

NWU student receives international award

Carol-Mari Schulz received the Bachelor of Health Sciences in Occupational Hygiene Top Achiever Award.

Academic programme resumes at all campuses

Lectures, practicals, seminars and tutorials will all resume today as per specific academic timetables.

Strategic social investments are a catalyst for social progress

Barloworld Mbewu enables beneficiaries to move away from dependence on grant funding

We all have a part to play to make South Africa work

Powering societal progress demands partnerships between all stakeholders

So you want to be a social entrepreneur?

Do the research first; it will save money and time later

Social entrepreneurship means business

Enterprises with a cause at their core might be exactly what our economy desperately needs

Looking inwards

Businesses are finding tangible ways to give back – but only because consumers demand it