ANC bigwig Mike Mabuyakhulu wants his corruption case struck off roll
ANC KwaZulu-Natal deputy chairperson Mike Mabuyakhulu, who is facing corruption charges relating to a failed jazz festival in 2012, wants the matter struck from the roll.
This after he was served with a second indictment, containing different charges, on Friday.
His advocate, Jimmy Howse, told Durban Commercial Crime Court magistrate D Soomaro that the application was being "seriously contemplated" because his right to a speedy trial was being prejudiced.
"He has, from the outset, said he wants a speedy resolution to this matter. He wants finality. He cannot assume public office until then."
The charges relate to allegations that during his tenure as MEC for economic development in the province, he authorised the payment of R28m into various accounts for the festival which never took place, and then received a R300,000 kickback.
He is charged with 15 other individuals and companies, including the former head of his department, Desmond Golding, and representatives of private companies involved in the alleged scam.
Howse said the indictment was not an amended version of the original, but a completely new one.
While the amount remained the same, "completely different" offences had been added and the dates on which the offences were allegedly committed had been changed.
The consequence of this was that further particulars, which had already been supplied by the state (on the original indictment), were worthless.
"These charges date back to 2012, nearly seven years ago. This matter had been under investigation since then and yet no reason has been given for the sudden change."
He said papers for the application would be prepared ahead of the next court appearance on March 4.
If the inquiry goes ahead, the state will have to lead the evidence of the investigating officer.
If Mabuyakhulu is successful in having the matter struck off, it will be removed from the court roll and cannot be reinstated without the authority of the director of public prosecutions.
If it fails, Mabuyakhulu can make an application to the high court for a permanent stay of prosecution, also based on unfair delays.
Advocate Christo van Schalkwyk, who represents some of the other accused in the matter, said he had not yet had a chance to study the new indictment but he, too, would advise the state before the next hearing whether he would launch a similar application.
He said some of the accused, whose assets were seized by the Asset Forfeiture Unit last month in raids related to the criminal matter, were also considering opposing a final forfeiture order.