Advocate Matric Luphondo.

Gallo Images / Phill Magakoe

  • Acting Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Matric Luphondo has been accused of bribing a prosecutor to drop a criminal case.
  • The case he allegedly sought to have withdrawn was one against the head of the Mpumalanga human settlements department, Kebone Masange.
  • Masange is accused of being in the country illegally and of using fraudulent documents to get the government post.

Acting Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Matric Luphondo has been accused of bribing a prosecutor to make a criminal case disappear for the head of the Mpumalanga human settlements department, Kebone Masange.

Luphondo, Masange, and Lieutenant-Colonel Ayanda Plaatjie appeared in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday. They face five charges of corruption which relate to an alleged attempt to have criminal charges withdrawn against Masange.

READ | Matric Luphondo arrested

Masange, who is Zimbabwean-born, was arrested in September 2020 on charges of fraud, the possession of fraudulent documents, and the contravention of the Immigration Act. It’s alleged that Masange is in the country illegally and used fraudulent documents to get appointed as the head of the department.

According to the charge sheet, Plaatjie approached the prosecutor in the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions in Pretoria, who was assigned to the Masange case, on 12 March and asked if there was any way “to get out [of] this case”.

On 18 March, Luphondo allegedly called the prosecutor and requested a meeting, which was eventually held at the McDonalds in Arcadia. There, Luphondo told the prosecutor that Masange was willing to do anything to get out of the case and that they should help him out.

Less than a week later, on 23 March, Luphondo met the prosecutor and handed him an 18-year-old bottle of Glenfiddich whiskey, valued at R1 550 and R5 000 in cash. The charge sheet alleges that Luphondo told the prosecutor that there was more money.

Four days later, Plaatjie allegedly contacted the prosecutor and asked to meet. He allegedly handed the prosecutor R28 000 in cash.

Their bail application is expected to proceed on Thursday after the court refused the State’s request for a seven-day postponement for further investigations.

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