Deputy President David Mabuza is at the centre of a R1bn corruption case which was supposed to go to trial this week, but which was postponed once more at his lawyers' request.

News24 notes the civil law suit, in which 24 others are also implicated, relates to an alleged land scam in Mpumalanga, and has been set down a 39-day hearing.

However, the judge ordered that the land scam case stand down to 29 July, so that the clients could continue talking to each other in an attempt to arrive at a settlement.

The allegations in the case date back to when Mabuza was Mpumalanga MEC for Agriculture & Land Affairs in 2008, but he has denied allegations of corruption.

It was brought by Fred Daniel, eco-tourism investor and corruption fighter, who wanted to buy farms around the Badplaas area to set up the Greater Barberton Mountainlands Conservancy, linking with his private reserve, Nkomazi Wilderness, but found prices were inflated.

Daniel alleges that Mpumalanga officials were running a land claims scam using local middlemen.

In court papers he alleges that Mabuza was instrumental in instigating violence, harassment, smear campaigns, and death threats against himself as well as his friends and family, apparently aimed at collapsing his plans to regenerate of one of the most threatened biomes on Earth, which is in that area.

Mabuza has denied any corruption related to the case.

The case has been held up due to multiple technical disputes since 2018.

Mabuza left the country three weeks ago to go to Russia for treatment for poisoning. Acting Minister in the Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni confirmed yesterday that Mabuza was still on sick leave.

‘The Deputy President is still in Russia undergoing treatment for the ailment that all of us South Africans are fully aware of,’ she said, with reference to his poisoning in 2015.

Full News24 report