Court case delays 'compromising' ANC KZN bigwig's ability to hold office - lawyer
1 February 2019
ANC heavyweight and KwaZulu-Natal deputy chairperson Mike Mabuyakhulu's ability to hold office is being hindered because of slow progress in his corruption matter, his lawyer said on Friday.
"My client has a right to a reasonably fair process. Despite efforts from our side, this is not happening. We believe we are being prejudiced. The delays are compromising my client's ability to hold public office," Jimmy Howse told the Commercial Crimes Court.
Mabuyakhulu and his seven co-accused appeared in court on Friday.
He faces charges of money laundering and corruption, relating to R28m allegedly paid for a North Sea Jazz Festival in Durban in 2012, which never took place.
Howse expressed dissatisfaction after it was revealed that a new indictment had been served on the accused, with "significant" differences to the original one.
"We were only provided with this on January 28. Besides us, none of the other accused have seen this new indictment. If we had not approached the State, we would not have received it either. This is worrying because it causes delays."
He said there had been significant changes, including two completely new charges and changes to dates.
"We are in a prejudicial position because we had requested particulars from the old indictment. Those requests are not in conjunction with the new indictment."
He also questioned how new charges emerged when investigations commenced in 2012 already.
"It has been years and we feel this is an unreasonable delay. I will have to look at the new documents and see if we will proceed with an application for the unreasonable delay."
Mabuyakhulu was arrested in 2018 along with seven others. His co-accused and their companies are collectively facing 77 charges.
In a previous sitting, the matter was postponed to February for the State to respond to more requests for further particulars on the charge sheet.
Mabuyakhulu's co-accused are Ceaser Walter Mkhize, Mabheleni Ntuli, Mzwandile Basil Ninela, Nonhlanhla Brenda Ninela, Nothando Lorraine Zungu, Ntokozo Ndlovu and Njabulo Mbongwe Mkhize.
The companies involved are Desmond Khalid Golding, DMD Capital PTY LTD, Ishashalazi Production CC, Ishinga Holdings, Maqhoboza Traders CC, Shaka Holdings, Soft Skills Communications 100 CC and Supersize Investment 20CC.
It is alleged that they were paid for their services, even though the event was cancelled.