A multimillion-rand tender fraud and corruption case against former Lepelle Northern Water CEO, Phineas Legodi and his two co-accused has been withdrawn in the Polokwane Commercial Crimes Court in Limpopo.
Legodi and businessman Matome Sefala and entity’s Bid Evaluation Committee chairperson, Michael Moseamedi, had been suspected of having defrauded the water entity about R45 million in the waste removal tender. The charge of kidnapping a fellow employee against the trio has also been withdrawn.
The court found there was no tangible evidence to proceed with the trial of corruption and fraud against them.
SIU raids Lepelle Northern Water Board offices:
The court also withdrew charges of kidnapping and extortion against the trio. They were suspected of having kidnapped the former acting CEO of Lepelle Northern Water, Ahuwi Netshidaulu.
Legodi says, “We surely are feeling vindicated that after three years of persecution the court has felt that there is no case against us. The state could not be able to produce any docket contents to proceed with pre-trial and eventually trail, so we are really feeling vindicated that the matter is now off the court’s roll.”
Legodi believes his arrest was abuse of power by authorities.
“I am a victim of power during the time that I was in Lepelle. I received an illegal instruction to appoint a certain illegal company and I refused from there on I received threats in terms of investigations by private investigators, from police in Gauteng,” Legodi added.
SIU interdics former CEO of Lepelle Northern Water in Limpopo Phineas Legodi. Unit’s Special Tribunal has restrained the disposal of his immovable properties in Limpopo and Gauteng pending the finalisation of civil proceedings against him into a R2.2-billion-Giyani water project
— SAfm news (@SAfmnews) February 7, 2021
Director of Falaz Trading and Construction company Matome Sefala says the allegations have tainted the image of his business and reputation.
Sefala says “I have lost business and now banks don’t want to do business because of this case. I want the state to account as a young upcoming entrepreneur this has tainted my reputation as well now the municipality don’t want to do business because of this case of Lepelle Northern Water.”
Legodi says they will open a case of defamation against the state.
Minister Lindiwe Sisulu and Phineas Legodi on issues at Lepelle Northern Water: