Qhawe did nothing wrong- member
MBABANE – Channel Swazi TV boss Qhawe Mamba never stole any money, the High Court has been told.
This was said by Mamba’s witness Solly Mkhonta, when he was leading evidence before the High Court in the E17 million fraud case where Mamba has been citedpointed as a suspect.
Mkhonta alleged that he is one of the members of the Channel S Savings and Coope
rative Scheme which was closed down by the Central Bank of Swaziland on suspicion that it was operating a pyramid scheme.
He told acting High Court Judge Philip Levinsohn that the charges of fraud preferred against Mamba were false.
He claimed that the Channel S and Savings Cooperative Scheme was running smoothly and he never heard of any members’ complaints that money was missing from the club’s accounts, not even the committee.
Mkhonta was being led by Mamba’s lawyers Simanga Mamba.
He is the third defence witness following the accused and Pastor Freddy Msimango. He alleged that managing the scheme was the committee’s responsibility.
When lawyer Mamba asked Mkhonta who he would hold accountable in the event the money was reported missing, he said it would be the committee.
Mkhonta said he never at any point during the scheme’s meeting heard members complaining that they had not received their benefits. Lawyer Mamba asked Mkhonta to comment on the fraud charges preferred against Mamba.
"I do not think that is true. No one ever complained that money was missing, during the meetings. Even the committee never complained. There were no problems and we did not foresee any," Mkhonta said.
He claimed that he joined the club just after it had been launched and had been one of the members who were under the SDL which was closed down.
He alleged that the scheme was established to help Swazis and it was designed to be a cooperative scheme where members would benefit in turns with the first to join benefiting first.
He claimed that people who had benefited also stood another chance to benefit when they paid subscriptions.
He alleged that Qhawe rarely spoke during the meetings he attended and if he did, such was on request to explain how he could advertise the scheme.
He claimed the members agreed that advertising fees would be deducted from what had been contributed by the members. He alleged that E3 was deducted from each member’s contributions to cater for the advertising fees.
He said he joined the Channel S scheme after it had been explained to him how it was going to operate and when asked to whom did members entrust their monies, he said they deposited into an account.
Qhawe pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against him and his companies Jouz Media and Ultimate Productions.
‘Why was Central Bank involved?’
MBABANE - The former Commissioner of Coop-eratives Wilson Ginindza, has wondered why the Central Bank of Swaziland was involved in the Channel S proposed credit and Savings Scheme.
He said according to his knowledge the Commissioner of Cooperatives was supposed to have handled the issue of alleged mismanagement of funds of the cooperative, not the Central Bank of Swaziland.
He said this at the High Court in the E17 million fraud case where Channel Swazi owner, Qhawe Mamba, has been cited as a suspect. "I do not know why the Central Bank of Swaziland got involved in the case. It never happened while I was a Commissioner," Ginindza said.
He also said cooperatives, proposed cooperatives and provisional cooperatives were regulated by the Commissioner of Cooperatives. He told the High Court that when there was suspicion that the Channel S Club had misused funds, he expected that such misconduct be regulated by the Commissioner. Ginindza alleged that after he had retired in 2007, he was aapproached by the Channel S club’s interim committee in the company of Qhawe Mamba to request that he assist them with putting up by-laws for a cooperative scheme.
He alleged that he was paid a deposit for writing the by-laws for the scheme and advised them on how to go about registering the cooperative. He alleged that the Channel S club was already in existence when they approached him and he advised them to have a common bond in order to establish a cooperative. "I was told that their common bond was that all the cooperative’s members were to be the members of the Channel S club. It is a requirement of the Cooperatives Act to have a common bond," he said. He alleged that he also advised the members to approach the Commissioner of Cooperatives for assistance with opening a bank account where they could deposit their members’ money.
He said he was not aware whether or not they approached the Commissioner’s office.
He said this was a requirement of registering a cooperative to allow the commissioner to monitor if the proposed cooperative had used members’ money for the right purposes.
"The Commissioner of Cooperatives keeps an eye on the accounts of the cooperative. If there is mismanagement of funds, the commissioner has authority to investigate the cooperative," Ginindza said.
Ginindza said he was not aware whether or not the Channel S Cooperative had been registered. He said when the Commissioner had assisted the cooperative in opening a bank account it meant he was aware of it. He said the Commissioner has authority to regulate the proposed Cooperative and register it.
Over 3 000 shared E5.8m before closure
MBABANE – Over 3 000 people had been paid more than E5 million at the time the Channel S scheme was closed down.
This was revealed by Advocate Francois Joubert before the High Court when he was cross-examining defence witness Solly Mkhonta.
He said E5 878 070 had been disbursed to members of the club before it was closed down by the Central Bank of Swaziland.
Mkhonta said he had heard that some people had been paid.
Judge Philip Levinsohn asked him to state the time frame within which he was a member of the scheme. He said he could not recall, but he had not joined when the club held its first meeting after breaking away from SDL.
He claimed that he joined sometime in July 2008 after he had been told that benefits for members who had been with SDL would be transferred to the club.
"I cannot recall when the first time I heard that the Channel S Club was going to be a cooperative, but it was through the Channel S TV station," Mkhonta said.
Qhawe must leave everything in God's hands. Whosover does not have ain must cast the first stone. Those who are behind Mamba's down fall we somehow pay nabo.
May 24, 2012, 3:36 PM, Velkabahleke (email@example.com)
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