Mphoko and wife in court for extortion, fraud

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By Bulawayo Correspondent

FORMER vice president Phelekezela Mphoko’s son, Siqokoqela and wife Nomagugu appeared before a Bulawayo magistrate Friday facing fraud and extortion charges respectively.

Magistrate Adelaide Mbeure remanded Siqokoqela to the 17th of October while Nomagugu will be back in the court two days later.   

Defence lawyer Khululekani Sibanda requested postponement of the trial, arguing that his clients had not been served with the court papers.

Nomagugu, who is out of custody on a $200 bail, allegedly ordered 15 Choppies Supermarket managers in Bulawayo to give her more than $30,000 cash from their Point of Sale (POS) machines after threatening them with either deportation or dismissal.

She was initially jointly charged with her husband, but the charges were later separated, and she is now facing 49 counts of extortion.

On the other hand, Siqokoqela, a Choppies director who is also on a $200 bail is facing 170 counts of fraud. He is accused of defrauding the company of $51,945.

The State was represented by Nkathazo Dlodlo.

The Mphoko family is battling for control of the business in a boardroom tussle that has since spilled into the High Court.

The family were local partners to foreign investors to Choppies Distribution Centre (Proprietary) Limited which is registered in Botswana.

The foreign investors have accused the Mphokos of looting the business.