BusinessDay reports that ICASA chair Rubben Mohlaloga has been sentenced to 20 years in jail for fraud and money-laundering, after a R6-million transaction involving Land Bank was found to be illegal.
The state alleged that he worked with then Land Bank CEO and ANC MP Philemon Mohlahlane and attorney Dinga Rammy Nkhwashu to transfer R6 million to Nkhwashu’s law firm in 2008.
The court’s findings were that the money was transferred from Agri-BEE, an institution designed to help black South Africans participate in the agriculture sector, to Dingwako Farming Projects.
However, the money was never actually used to help black farm workers, and while a farm was bought with some of the funds, the court said that this was done to disguise the fraudulent nature of the transaction.
The transaction also did not follow the necessary procedures, with the court finding that Mohlahlane had forced fund manager Khutso Mosoma to perform the transaction without the necessary documents.
Mohlaloga’s lawyer Rudi Krause said that his client would challenge the conviction, which Krause said is “unsupported by the facts”.
Mohlaloga has also reportedly been successful in asking for his removal from the ICASA board to be delayed, pending the outcome of his appeal.
This is despite’s ICASA disallowing anyone convicted of fraud from remaining on the board.
“In terms of the provisions of the ICASA Act of 2000, all matters relating to the qualifications, appointment and/or removal of ICASA Councillors (including the Chairperson) lie outside of the jurisdiction of the Authority,” said ICASA.