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Tuesday, 30 January 2024 19:02

Mafokate fails to stop SIU seizure of his Midrand's luxury guesthouse.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

The High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday dismissed an application by veteran musician Arthur Mafokate to have his luxury guest house released from a preservation order.

Last year, the National Prosecuting Authority's Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) obtained a preservation order to freeze Mafokate's La Villa Rosa guest house in Midrand.

The case relates to five non-profit organisations which received funding of approximately R56 million for community development projects.

One of the organisations, the South African Art and Development Association, linked to the Kwaito legend, applied for grant funding to assist unemployed youth in the poor and rural areas.

Judge Mandlenkosi Motha ruled that Mafokate's application failed to explain where he had procured the money to purchase the glamorous property.

The court agreed with the NPA that it was against the terms and conditions of the grant for SAADA to carry over its obligations to any other organisation, and that the development organisation should have also returned any unused funds to the NLC.

It also found that Mafokate could give no reasonable explanation on how he could afford to purchase the guesthouse if it was not for NLC funds, particularly as his business accounts contained negligible balances when the grant was received from the NLC.

Therefore, the court dismissed, Mafokate's application to have the guesthouse released from the preservation order with costs.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Lumka Mahanjana said during court proceedings, 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 guesthouse, which was not the purpose of the grant allocation. The funds used to purchase the guesthouse was thus stolen from the NLC as it was not used for the allocated project."

On 20 January 2016, Mafokate made an offer to purchase the Villa Rosa Guesthouse in Midrand via 999 Music, of which he is the sole director. The SIU said that on the following day, R4.3-million was transferred from the home loan to 999 Music, which transferred R675,000 and R361,000 to attorneys handling the purchase of the guesthouse by 999 Music.

The whistle was blown on the abuse of lottery funding in 2015 by Brian Mokoena, former Saada secretary-general and chief operating officer of two of Mafokate's companies — Roadshow Marketing and 999 Music. Mokoena claimed lottery money was used to help buy the guesthouse, in an affidavit he deposed at the Midrand police station on 15 May 2015.

In his affidavit, Mokoena alleged that besides lottery money being used for the guesthouse, vehicles paid for with the grant were used to ferry Mafokate's artists, including his son, DJ AJ, and kwaito star Chomee, a fellow board member.