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Bribery-accused young trucker Sam ‘Mshengu’ Chabalala has a strong case – lawyer

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Mpumalanga businessman Sam Chabalala has a strong case against the State and will hopefully be found not guilty, his lawyer Namedi Phatudi said on Friday.

Phatudi was speaking to the media shortly after Chabalala appeared briefly in the Witbank Magistrate’s Court in Mpumalanga.

The 23-year-old Chabalala, who goes by his clan name of Mshengu, was arrested by the Hawks in eMalahleni in September after a long investigation into his citizenship.

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Mpumalanga Hawks spokesperson Captain Dineo Sekgotodi said at the time that Chabalala had tried to bribe Hawks officers with R40 000 when he was arrested. Chabalala also faces charges of fraud and possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition.

He was released on R200 000 bail by the same court on September 16.

“We have a strong case, but I’m not at liberty to disclose anything as the case is still before the court,” said Phatudi of CN Phatudi Attorneys.

“Our client is doing well and is back at work. We are fine with the way the case is going.”

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The case was on Friday postponed to December 3 for further investigations and Chabalala’s bail was extended.

Chabalala is the owner of Sam Holdings and he shot to the limelight in July when he posted pictures on social media platforms of a fleet of expensive cars travelling in a convoy to the annual horse-racing event, the Durban July.

At least 10 cars that were in the 72-vehicle convoy reportedly belonged to him, and they had personalised Mpumalanga number plates with the name “Sam” inscribed on them.

Other posts on his social media platform suggested that his business was also supplying coal to Eskom. It also emerged in court on September 16 that Chabalala owned 63 articulated trucks and that his Sam Holdings company had more than 100 employees at the time.

Chabalala was supported by a crowd of about 30 people, including his employees, when he appeared in the same court on September 16. The public gallery of the court was full on Friday, but his supporters and employees were not visible in and outside the court.

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