KZN ANC leader’s corruption case heads to trial in September

KwaZulu-Natal ANC deputy chairperson Mike Mabuyakhulu is facing charges of fraud, corruption, theft and money-laundering, and appeared at the commercial crimes court, Durban, 1 February 2019. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng / African News Agency (ANA)

The case was postponed until 6 September for a trial that is scheduled to run until 8 October.

KwaZulu-Natal ANC political heavyweight Mike Mabuyakhulu’s corruption matter will head to trial in the Durban High Court in September.

Mabuyakhulu, who is out on R50,000 bail, resumed his political duties in October 2020 on the strength of recommendations by the provincial ANC’s integrity commission.

Mabuyakhulu was a no-show in court on Monday, and the case was postponed until 6 September for a trial that is scheduled to run until 8 October.

Last year, Mabuyakhulu, the ANC’s KwaZulu-Natal deputy chairperson, was cleared for duty by the provincial integrity committee (PIC).

In August, the committee said that Mabuyakhulu had sent a letter to ANC officials of his intent to resign from his position.

News24 reported that the provincial executive committee (PEC) had rejected his resignation, opting to send him to the integrity committee.

In the latter half of 2020, the ANC asked advocate Gcina Malindi to come up with guidelines on how those who were implicated in corruption should be asked to step aside.

It also wants its own legal opinion on whether family members of ANC politicians should be barred from doing business with the state.

This, in light of many ANC leaders being implicated in corruption and other crimes, ignoring a party directive that they should step aside, News24 reported.

In March 2019, Mabuyakhulu launched an application to quash corruption charges related to the failed 2012 North Sea Jazz Festival. The event never took place.

The charges relate to allegations that, during his tenure as economic development MEC, he authorised the payment of R28 million into various accounts for the festival, which never took place, and then allegedly received a R300,000 kickback.

He is charged along with 15 other individuals and companies, including the former head of his department, Desmond Golding.

In his affidavit in support of his application which was filed in the Durban Commercial Crime Court, Mabuyakhulu said all the charges dated back to 2012 and 2013 – six to seven years ago – and the investigation had begun then.

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