JOHANNESBURG: The general manager of Kaizer Chiefs, one of South Africa's most celebrated football clubs, was charged with corruption on Thursday relating to the building of a $145 million stadium for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Bobby Motaung, the son of the 42-year-old Soweto club's founder, Kaizer Motaung, was charged with fraud, forgery and theft in court in Nelspruit, 300 km (200 miles) east Johannesburg. A fellow director of consulting firm Lefika Emerging Equity was charged alongside him.
The Hawks, an elite police unit which charged the pair, accuse Lefika of fraudulently securing a tender to design Nelspruit's 1.2 billion rand World Cup stadium, recognisable by its giant giraffe-shaped supporting structures.
Hawks spokesman McIntosh Polela said the pair had been released on bail of 50,000 rand ($6000) each and were due to appear in court again on October 15. A third suspect is being transported from Cape Town, he added.
According to the Hawks, Lefika submitted false tax documents that made the company look bigger and better than it was, giving it a better chance of winning the tender to design the stadium.
Construction of the stadium has been mired in controversy since Jimmy Mohlala, a local politician, was gunned down in 2009. South African media said he had been threatening to blow the whistle on tender irregularities.
Another municipal sports official was shot dead in his bed in 2010, leading to intense speculation about foul play relating to stadium contracts.
The Nelspruit stadium, which forced the relocation of two schools and caused angry protests in a neighbouring township, hosted only four World Cup matches.
Kaizer Chiefs, based in the Johannesburg area's biggest township Soweto, are known for their fierce rivalry with cross-town rivals Orlando Pirates.
Their "Soweto derbies" attract some of the largest crowds in African sport, and bring much of South Africa to a halt. AGENCIES