NATIONAL NEWS - Mpumalanga-based logistics operator Sam “Mshengu” Chabalala of Sam Holdings was on Monday granted R200,000 bail.
Chabalala is facing charges of corruption, illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, illegal entry, departing and remaining in the borders of South Africa, and giving false information so as to be allowed to enter the country.
Chabalala is reportedly due back in court on November 22.
It was reported by Sowetan LIVE that the magistrate said that it could not be proven that Chabalala was a dangerous person as the state had alleged.
The magistrate reportedly further said that, based on the evidence of Chabalala’s lawyers, it seemed as if Chabalala had strong family and business ties in the country and that it was unknown whether he had business and family ties outside of South Africa.
The magistrate reportedly said that due to Chabalala’s strong ties in the country, he did not consider him to be a flight risk.
The magistrate was quoted as saying that the state’s allegation that Chabalala planned to assassinate a witness could not be proven.
Chabalala was recently arrested by elite police investigative unit the Hawks in the Mpumalanga town of Emalahleni.
Following the arrest, journalist Sabelo Skiti suggested that Chabalala’s arrest was linked to an investigation of his citizenship status, which was initiated by the department of home affairs, with other reports suggesting that he was actually from Zimbabwe and may have allegedly obtained his South African citizenship illegally.
Most South Africans had never heard of Chabalala 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 an 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.