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Jimmy Mohlala continues his fight from the grave

Bobby Motaung’s bid to silence the Sunday World failed.

Murdered Speaker of Mbombela Municipality, Jimmy Mohlala, may have been killed and buried, however, he continues to fight in death, just as he did when he was still alive.

Last week, Mohlala scored two important victories, the first was against Bobby Motaung and the second was against a police spokesperson who tried to hide the information on the police investigation on the former Speaker’s assassination.

An application by Kaizer Chiefs soccer boss Bobby Motaung to gag the Sunday World newspaper from associating him and his company with the assassination of Jimmy Mohlala was dismissed with costs in the Pretoria High Court on Friday.

Mohlala was the speaker of the Mbombela local municipality in Nelspruit and was gunned down outside his home on January 4. He had been raising concern about irregularities and corruption surrounding the construction of the R1 billion 2010 soccer stadium in Nelspruit.

The Sunday World reported on January 11 that Lefika Emerging Equity, which Motaung co-owns, tried to use a fraudulent letter written on the municipality’s letterhead to get an overdraft facility at First National Bank. Lefika are the consultants on the stadium project.

Motaung has denied any knowledge of the letter.

Lefika and Motaung also accused Sunday World of insinuating that they were responsible for Mohlala’s murder.

In his affidavit presented to the High Court, Motaung wrote that “friends, family members and associates of the deceased (Mohlala) might believe that Lefika and I are responsible for the assassination of the deceased and might, as a result, decide to take the law into their own hands.”

The paper reported that Mohlala was assassinated a week before he was to propose to council that a fraud case be opened against Lefika. Mohlala was also to testify in a hearing on January 12 against suspended municipal manager Jacob Dladla regarding Dladla’s role in alleged maladministration of the stadium project.

The allegations include that a technically irregular progress payment of R43 million was paid to Lefika, without the proper authorisation or approvals.

In the judgement on Friday (last week), the court found that any reasonable reader would not make the deduction when reading the article that Motaung and Lefika were responsible for the death of Mohlala.

In his affidavit, Sunday World journalist Mzilikazi wa Afrika accused Motaung of trying to bribe him to drop the story.

Meanwhile, acting Mbombela municipal manager, Sigananda Siboza, and Mohlala both claimed the letter to FNB was fraudulent.

After they raised their concerns, both started receiving telephonic and SMS death threats. Siboza has received heightened security following Mohlala’s murder.

“The letter is definitely fraudulent. No-one knows anything about it, and Siboza’s office never authorised anyone to sign or issue it. The council will discuss the matter at its next meeting at the end of January, when council will decide what steps to take,” said Mbombela spokesperson Vusi Sibiya.

“It is important to say that there is [no money] outstanding to Lefika.”

On Friday, Motaung said he could not comment on the judgement because he had not yet been briefed by his lawyers on the outcome.

Last year, Motaung was granted a court interdict preventing Jimmy Mohlala and the Mbombela Municipality from releasing the forensic report on alleged fraud in the issuing of the 2010 World Cup Stadium. He also sued the Sowetan  newspaper for defamation when it published a report on his alleged involvement in  tender irregularities.

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