The Pretoria High Court has dismissed an application by legendary Kwaito musician Arthur Mafokate to have his property released from a preservation order.
Mafokate’s luxury Midrand guest house was preserved following allegations that he was involved in a National Lotteries Commission (NLC) fraud and corruption scandal.
According to National Prosecuting Authority Gauteng regional spokesperson, Lumka Mahanjana, investigations revealed that the South African Arts and Development Organisation (SAADA) – of which Mafokate was a director – received R9.3 million to “assist unemployed youth in the poor and rural areas of the country, to impact skills in music, business video, film production dance and overall business of radio.”
It is alleged that only R1.8 million was directed towards the project with the remaining funds used to buy the property in Midrand.
“In court, Mafokate argued that he was entitled to the R7.5 million as his businesses delivered the services as required by the NLC and that he had committed no offences. However, the NPA argued that although some kind of services were rendered, it was at most R1.8 million.
“The remainder of the funds was used to purchase the guest house, which was not the purpose of the grant allocation. The funds used to purchase the guest house was thus stolen from the NLC as it was not used for the allocated project,” Mahanjana said.
She added that in dismissing Mafokate’s application, the court agreed with the NPA’s argument that “it was against the terms and conditions of the grant for SAADA to carry over its obligations to any other organisation and that SAADA should have also returned any unused funds to the NLC”.
In addition, the court found that Mafokate could give no reasonable explanation on how he could afford to purchase the guest house if it was not for NLC funds, “particularly as his business accounts contained negligible balances when the grant was received from the NLC.”
It is expected that the NPA’s Asset Forfeiture Unit will enrol the matter for final forfeiture and if that is successful, the property will be sold at an auction with proceeds returning to the NLC.
— Special Investigating Unit (SIU) (@RSASIU) January 31, 2024