SOUTH AFRICA: Zimbabwe born Mpumalanga based businessman Sam Chabalala Mshengu, real name Gilbert Tachuona, has been granted R500,000 bail.
The 25-year-old(pictured with fans above) was granted bail in the Middleburg magistrate court on charges of corruption and bribery.
Chabalala’s lawyer, Hlau Maluleke previously asked the court to consider a bail of R5000.
Most South Africans had never heard of the young millionaire until he became the face of a flashy convoy of supercars that travelled to the Durban-July last year.
He later told Power FM that he was born in Makwarela, in Limpopo province.
However, it was revealed in court that his real name is Gilbert Tachuona and he was born in Zimbabwe.
Prosecutor Eric Sihlangu said: “The Department of Home Affairs has indicated that the applicant obtained a South African ID through misrepresentation.”
This emerged as Chabalala appeared in court on fresh charges of corruption and bribery after he was allegedly caught bribing a senior police officer to release a Mercedes Benz X-Class pick-up truck that was confiscated from him when he was arrested last year.
Chabalala is alleged to have paid R50,000 to the police officer as a down payment and further added R70,000. As well as getting back his vehicle, he wanted the initial case for which he was arrested last year to “disappear”, the Middleburg Magistrate’s Court heard.
On Wednesday, Middleburg magistrate Hlengiwe Mkhabela released the businessman on R500,000 bail.
Chabalala’s lawyer Hlau Maluleke last week pleaded with the court to set bail at R5,000.
“The bail amount proposed by the defence is an insult to the court. Bail has been set at R500,000,” Mkhabela ruled.
She postponed the matter until March 13 for further investigation.
Chabalala, who made his millions running a trucking business, Sam Holdings, was first arrested in 2019 and charged with fraud, corruption and possession of an unlicensed firearm. The Witbank Magistrate’s Court later released him on R200,000 bail.
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