Security has been tightened around Mpumalanga business mogul Sam Mshengu Chabalala after he was found with electronic devices in his hospital bed on Wednesday morning. The flamboyant tycoon was found with a smuggled laptop and cellphones when the Hawks raided his private hospital room.
Hawks spokesman Hangwani Muluadzi confirmed that Chabalala was found with electronic devices. We have launched the investigations on how the devices got into his room,” Mulaudzi said. Chabalala was admitted at a private hospital in Emalahleni on Monday night in a suspected food poisoning case. He was rushed to hospital in an ambulance.
According Chabalala family friend, the police have been denying them access to see the ailing businessman. His wife, family and friends have been refused entry since from Tuesday. We are just told that we are not allowed to see Sam and no reason given,” he told Sowetan. The friend said they have contacted his lawyers to lodge a grievance with the authorities about the police’s attitude.
Chabalala has been remanded in custody after an appearance in the Witbank magistrate’s court on Tuesday for alleged bribery, corruption, possession of an unlicensed and fraud in terms of contravening of the Immigration Act.
Chabalala was arrested on Friday last week at an eatery in Highveld Mall in Witbank, after he allegedly paid home affairs officials a R40,000 bribe in order to destroy reports of probing the legitimacy of his South African identity document.
The Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime Investigation team were alerted and swiftly arrested Chabalala after he had just paid the bribe. A further search of his vehicles uncovered an unlicensed firearm which was hidden in a green Mercedes-Benz. The case against Chabalala has been postponed to Friday for a formal bail application.
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