Court clears ANC heavyweight Mabuyakhulu of wrongdoing

The feeble evidence and the failure by the state to argue a winnable case against ANC KwaZulu-Natal heavyweight Mike Mabuyakhulu and his co accused came under scrutiny in the high court in Durban on Tuesday.

Handing down judgment relating to the R28-million fraud and corruption case of the North Sea Jazz Festival which did not materialise, judge Mahendra Chetty was unrepentant, saying the prosecution team had done a shoddy job.

“There was no clear evidence that was able to connect the dots on the charges against the accused, as it relates to the transgression of the rules of the Public Finance Management Act,” said Chetty, clearing Mabuyakhulu and his co-accused of any wrongdoing.

“Such crucial evidence of fraud and corruption cannot be left to the court to prove, but the onus is on the state to present a compelling case.”

At the heart of the matter was the much-publicized music festival in 2012, where the state had brought the charges alleging that the provincial department of economic development, tourism and environmental affairs paid millions of rands for the event that did not take place.

The allegations further asserted that Mabuyakhulu, who was the MEC at the time, received kickbacks. Also implicated was former head of department Desmond Khalid Golding, who was accused number one.

Mabuyakhulu, Golding and about 16 service providers were charged with fraud, money-laundering and corruption, among others, in a case that has been on the roll since 2018.

Mabuyakhulu, who was elected ANC deputy chairperson during the 2018 provincial elective conference, excused himself from all party duties in May 2021 as dictated by the ruling party’s step-aside rule.


Follow @SundayWorldZA on Twitter and @sundayworldza on Instagram, or like our Facebook Page, Sunday World, by clicking here for the latest breaking news in South Africa.

Latest News