Johannesburg – The acting CEO of Lepelle Northern Water Board, Ahuiwi Netshidaulu, has come out swinging against allegations he extorted a supplier, Matome Sefalafala.
Sefalafala owns Falaz General Trading and Construction (Falaz).
Netshidaulu claimed the allegations were part of a broader plan to bring his name and that of the entity into disrepute by forces hellbent on continuing the corruption in the company.
He said he was harassed by police after Sefalafala opened a case of extortion against him.
“The Police officials said for them not to execute the warrant, I must talk to the service provider identified as Matome Sefalafala of Falaz General Trading and Construction,” Netshidaulu said.
He said what then followed was not an arrest but an abduction by police in the presence of Sefalafala which led to him authorizing payments to Falaz.
“…we then went to the Garage where the Service Provider arrived within a few minutes after the police officer indicated that he was also on his way to Johannesburg. I was then handcuffed to prove to Service Provider (Sefalafala) that I was arrested.”
Despite this, Sefalafala said he never saw the inside of a police cell but was rather taken to Tiveka Game Lodge, 30km from Polokwane, and told to call the Lepelle CFO and order her to pay R5.8m for work done by Sefalafala’s company – or face arrest. Netshidaulu initially refused but was taken to a secluded area, where he agreed to pay because he feared for his life. He gave instructions for R2.9m to be paid. Lepelle interim board has taken a decision not to pay any suppliers whose contracts were under dispute and investigation. Falaz had been among those.
Netshidaulu has since opened a case of intimidation and then after a case of abduction at Polokwane Police Station.
Sefalafala on his part claims that Netshidaulu had demanded an R500 000 bribe from him to release monies due to Falaz. Sefalafala has since opened a case of extortion against Netshidaulu.
Former Lepelle Northern Water CEO Phineas Legodi and six co-accused were released on bail in December after appearing in the Polokwane Magistrate’s Court in Limpopo on several charges of fraud and theft.
Legodi appeared together with Sefalafala, Ngwako Moseamedi, Gumani Ngangashe, Vusi Mhlongo, and Mpho Chokolo.
Falaz was also charged as a juristic entity. The matter relates to the awarding of a multimillion-rand waste management contract. According to the provisional charge sheet, Sefalafala had submitted forged documents to obtain the tender.
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