- Controversial businessman Sam Chabalala has been granted bail at a staggering R500 000
- The 25-year-old was recently arrested after allegedly trying to bribe a senior officer to drop charges against him
- Chabalala's lawyer had previously asked the court to consider bail at R5 000
Controversial Mpumalanga businessman Sam Chabalala has been granted bail set at a whopping R500 000.
The 25-year-old was granted bail by the Middleburg Magistrate's Court after appearing on charges of bribery and corruption.
SowetanLIVE reports that Chabalala's lawyer Hlau Maluleke had pleaded for the court to consider a far lower amount of R5 000.
Magistrate Hlengiwe Mkhabela slammed the proposed amount as a slap in the face of the court:
“The bail amount proposed by the defence is an insult to the court. Bail has been set at R500 000."
The matter has now been postponed until 13 March to allow time for further investigation into the incident.
Briefly.co.za reported that Chabalala had been arrested after he had been busted attempting to bribe his way out of previous charges against him.
The businessman had been trying to have a senior SAPS member release an impounded vehicle and attempting to make the case docket disappear.
Chabalala had been arrested last year on charges of fraud, corruption and possession of an unlicensed firearm. He had been released on R200 000 bail.
Advocate Eric Sehlangu had pleaded with the magistrate not to release Chabalala on bail, adamant that he was not a suitable candidate after being arrested while out on bail:
"This would be undermining the processes of justice."
Sehlangu argued that releasing the businessman would jeopardise the case against him over his 'propensity to interfere with investigations':
"We acknowledge that bail does not serve to punish a suspect, but if the court grants him bail, what will stop him from committing these offences again? The only [way] to guarantee that [he doesn't repeat the offences] is to not grant him bail."
In other news, court proceedings revealed that Chabalala's real name was Gilbert Tachuona and his true country of origin was actually Zimbabwe.
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