More details have emerged about why the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) withdrew car fraud charges against Telkom chief executive officer Sipho Maseko on Friday.
On Friday, Bloomberg reported that the state dropped charges against Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court in Sandton.
Maseko faced fraud charges for allegedly driving a car with false number plates.
A driver who bought a car previously owned by Maseko allegedly received fines linked to a newer car with the same licence plate.
But NPA spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku told Fin24 that the authority “provisionally” withdrew the charges on Friday because of a lack of evidence at the time.
“The Telkom CEO made representations to the DPP (director of public prosecutions),” said Mfaku.
“After considering the representations the NPA decided to provisionally withdraw the matter pending further investigations,” Mfaku said.
He told Fin24 the investigation would be handled by police.
Mfaku was also not willing to comment on whether Maseko is completely off the hook yet, in the light of the pending probe.
The Telkom CEO previously denied charges of licence plate cloning.
JMPD and Saps
The Star newspaper reported in July last year that Maseko was part of a Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) investigation into car licence plate cloning.
However, JMPD spokesperson Wayne Minnaar told Fin24 that the JMPD is specifically focused on the issue of the traffic fines.
“The issue of the traffic fines is entirely that of the JMPD. The JMPD was waiting for the case to go to court so that the person could be found responsible and then the fines would have been reissued in his name,” Minnaar told Fin24.
“But the number plate charge is also being dealt with by the Rosebank police station,” said Minnaar.
Fin24 contacted a South African Police Service (Saps) representative at the Rosebank police station who has been involved with the Maseko case. However, the representative was not willing to comment on the NPA’s decision to drop charges, or on the prosecuting authority’s comments about the impending investigation.
The Rosebank police station representative referred Fin24 to a provincial Saps spokesperson, who was not available at the time of writing.