Facebook users had mixed feelings about Sam Chabalala, Sam Holdings director and owner.
The Facebook posts were inundated with calls of support and those that were asking for heads to roll.
Sam, who was arrested over a week ago on suspicions that he acquired his South African identity fraudulently, appeared in court on Monday for a formal bail hearing. He also faces charges of fraud, bribery and being in possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition.
The Bulletin received the following statement from the Hawks Spokesperson Captain Sekgotodi: “Sambulo Bruce Chabalala (23) was granted R200 000.00 bail by the Witbank Magistrate Court on Monday 16 September with the following bail conditions:
The accused was instructed to report at the Bethal Police Station on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 09:00 and 12:00.
To hand his travelling documents to the investigating officer and further not to leave his area which is Govan Mbeki Municipality without notifying the investigating officer.
On the other hand, the Hawks Serious Organised Crime Investigation Unit took over the Murder case of Sam Holdings General Manager Nkosinathi Emmanuel Ngcongo (30), who was shot and killed last week Thursday 12 September while he was on duty at Sam Holdings truck depot. It is alleged that two men were seen entering the premises whereby one of the suspects produced a firearm and shot Ngcongo and disappeared. Later the same night the investigation led to the arrest of a 26-years-old Phindokuhle Eugene Nkosi. Nkosi appeared at the Bethal Magistrate Court on the Friday, 13 September. His case is remanded to 19 September for further investigation and possible bail application.
The suspect remanded in custody. The investigation continues.”
He was arrested on Friday at a restaurant at Emalahleni’s Highveld Mall after an alleged attempt to pay home affairs officials R40,000 “to destroy reports of a fraudulently obtained South African identity document against him,” said the Hawks.
The Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crimes Investigation unit swooped in on him shortly afterwards and found an unlicensed firearm in his vehicle, a green Mercedes-Benz, one of many luxury cars he owns.
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 this year.
At the time, The Citizen reported that “Mshengu” was a Mpumalanga-based businessman who set tongues wagging after having the longest convoy at the event, boasting top-of-the-range cars, with many asking how he had made his money. Of the 72 cars, 10 were his.
Claiming to be born in Makwarela, Venda, he opened up on radio in July about his difficult upbringing and how he eventually made it in the logistics business.
He registered his company, Sam Holdings Trading, in 2014 and used his boss’ trucks to start his business.
“I got a contract even when I didn’t have a truck at the time. I took my boss’ trucks and registered them. I was getting a commission of R10 at the time. I worked for a long time and raised money to buy my own truck. I could make R300,000 a month with commission and salary at the time.”
He kept working and saving money until it got to R3 million. He used the money to buy three trucks and trailers cash.
“Now I have 52 trucks running on the road with machines and plant hire. That’s how I made my money. I’ve never been involved in anything illegal. I do transport with Eskom, but I’m also venturing into mining now with my own mine. It’s all my mind and planning and the mercy of God,” he said.
There is further twist to his story.
The Sowetan reported the following: “A manager at one of flamboyant businessman Sam “Mshengu” Chabalala’s depots was shot dead just days after he gave the Hawks a sworn affidavit relating to an investigation about his boss.
Nkosinathi Ngcongo, 30, was shot in the head and chest as he was about to leave the premises in Bethal, Mpumalanga, on Thursday.
Police spokesperson Const Thomas Mogadime said one person has been arrested for Ngcongo’s murder and will appear in court soon on murder charges.
But police would not say whether Ngcongo’s killing was linked to Chabalala’ s arrest.
A source close to the investigation, however, confirmed to Sowetan that Ngcongo had met the Hawks as part of their investigations.
“He made an affidavit under oath. We are investigating a hit. He was very close to the businessman,” the insider said.”
The story continues to unfold as the investigation continues.
- Encee van Huyssteen (- The Sowetan – The Citizen)