Land Bank to probe more irregularities

2011-03-03 16:44

Pretoria - Following the arrest and appearance in court of four men accused of embezzling R19m from the AgriBEE scheme, the Land Bank could continue to pursue other outstanding cases, a spokesperson said on Thursday.

Land Bank spokesperson Musa Mchunu said that the bank had noted the arrest of its former chief executive Philemon Mohlahlane, former Gauteng housing MEC Mpu Daniel Mofokeng, Khutso Mosoma and Matuba Maponya and that the institution would allow the law to take its course.

"In the past two-and-a-half years and in line with its responsibility, the Land Bank has continually committed itself to cooperate and give support to the authorities and the required processes in order to ensure that all outstanding matters of similar nature are finalised."

Forensic investigations had revealed irregularities not only with AgriBEE, but also the Micro-Agricultural Finance Initiative of South Africa (Mafisa), the bank's information technology section and the Land Development funding unit.

He said it would seek to ensure all the investigations were pursued "with vigour".

Mohlahlane, Mofokeng, Mosoma and Maponya appeared briefly in the Commercial Crimes Court in Pretoria on Wednesday after being arrested on Tuesday in connection with five counts of fraud and five counts of money laundering.

They were released on bail of R40 000 each and the case was postponed until May 3.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said the four allegedly committed the offences between October 2007 and January 2008.

He said it was possible that further charges would be brought.