Top ANC leader from KZN and co-accused back in court over North Sea Jazz Festival
Mike Mabuyakhulu, the KwaZulu-Natal ANC's interim committee convenor, and seven businessmen and women from the province are expected back in the Durban Commercial Crimes Court on Wednesday to face charges, including money laundering and corruption.
The charges emanate from R28m paid for a North Sea Jazz Festival that was supposed to take place in Durban in 2012.
Mabuyakhulu, who is out on R50 000 bail, appeared alongside Ceaser Walter Mkhize, Mabheleni Ntuli, Mzwandile Basil Ninela, Nonhlanhla Brenda Ninela, Nothando Lorraine Zungu, Ntokozo Ndlovu and Njabulo Mbongwe Mkhize.
Their companies 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 are some of the 16 accused in the matter.
The eight accused and their companies face about 77 charges, including theft and fraud.
According to the indictment, Zungu is one of the main roleplayers alongside Mabuyakhulu – the former KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Economic Development and Tourism.
The companies of Mabuyakhulu's co-accused were allegedly paid, despite the festival being cancelled.
When Mabuyakhulu was arrested in February, the Hawks stressed that the move was not political.
"I think it is important to mention that allegations are allegations. If someone comes and complains to the Hawks regarding alleged criminal activities, Hawks members will investigate without any fear, favour or prejudice," KZN Hawks spokesperson Simphiwe Mhlongo said at the time.
The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal said at the time that Mabuyakhulu should be given a chance to present his case before a court of law.
"As the ANC, we wish to express our profound respect of the rule for the law and support all efforts towards fighting corruption," the party said.
It added that the allegations should be "treated in the fairest of manners".