The alleged involvement of a politician affiliated to the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in Limpopo in the affairs of the businesswoman behind Millionaire’s Polokwane operating from the city’s international airport, a national key point is being questioned after two arrests on the weekend.
The arrests further shed light on a reported calculated R1,9 million arrears in rental for a space within the perimeters of the airport in the absence of the relevant documentation, an arrangement allegedly innitiated by the politician while still attached to the office of the former MEC for Transport.
From sources close to the investigation it was reliably learnt that the recent institution of a case against current Transport MEC Mapula Mokaba-Phukwana on behalf of the EFF was believed to be a ploy to hamper investigations into departmental matters, to avoid implication in the original arrangement granting the businesswoman access to the building without the necessary documents in place.
Occupation of the building apparently occurred in December 2011. The businesswoman is suspected of moving in over the Festive Season of that year without authorisation and when airport management and security queried it, their concerns were not being taken into consideration by the manager in charge of the MEC’s office at the time, a source reiterated.
Since then the owner had merely paid
R7 000 in separate cash amounts into the account of Gateway Airports Authority Limited (Gaal), which manages Polokwane International Airport, it was pointed out with reference to available documentation.
After the arrest of two Zimbabwean nationals, a man of 19 years whose age seems to be disputed and an 18-year-old girl who is allegedly travelling on her mother’s passport, during a raid on the restaurant on Saturday the owner allegedly attempted to change the locks granting access to the venue on Sunday, the source continued. Polokwane Observer learnt that the two suspects would have to face charges pertaining to the alleged violation of different laws regulating immigration, labour practices and airports authorities in the country. However, Westenburg Police Spokesperson Mohlaka Mashiane said the only charge against them was that of contravention of the Immigration Law. They had appeared in court on Monday, the case was postponed to 18 August and no bail was granted, he said. According to Mashiane the investigation into the validity of the liquor licence claimed to have been issued to the business was continuing.
According to Kagiso Mootane, spokesperson for the Department of Transport, the keys to the premises had been handed to the Police. She said they had realised the application by the businesswoman to operate from the international airport building, which is owned by the Department of Transport and is under supervision of Gaal, was approved but that no lease agreement or contract existed. She further indicated the businesswoman still had to produce a liquor licence and that investigations were being conducted into how the liquor licence had been obtained and from whom. She confirmed the date of occupation as December 2011.
According to information the venue was the social gathering place for EFF leaders in the past and the action of the Police over the weekend seemingly brought to an abrupt halt suspected plans for entertaining EFF leadership on Sunday evening. The party leadership had been expected to meet there while the masses were supposed to stage a night vigil at Jack Botes hall in town ahead of EFF Commander-in-Chief Julius Malema’s court appearance on Monday, a source explained.
As far as could be established the venue was popular with scores of newsmakers, including prominent politicians and actors, from the onset. Even so-called Sushi King Kenny Kunene’s birthday party got advertised for being hosted there, as per the facebook page that also offered services such as a stretch limousine and a fun bus for statement-making rides.
From recordings viewed by Polokwane Observer it appeared that a strip show was apparently on the menu the previous weekend, allegedly involving 15 local girls to entertain guests in a closed-off VIP area of the venue.
All attempts to obtain comment from the politician and the owner of the venue on various available cell numbers were unsuccessful.
Story: YOLANDE NEL