The trial of former Lotus FM presenter Vikash Mathura commenced yesterday at the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court.
The 43-year-old veteran present wore a dark suit and was expressionless throughout the court proceedings.
Mathura faces charges of fraud and, alternatively, theft. He has been out on R5000 bail that was granted in May. He is accused of billing Ellerines Furnishers an amount of R887467.20 to his personal company, a charge that he denies.
It is alleged that in 2009, Mathura was deputy managing executive of the Beares brand, which is now liquidated, and was promoted in 2010 to group marketing executive with the responsibilities of the brand’s group marketing service and the respective budget.
Mathura was dismissed by the company in July 2012 and is defending the claim at the Johannesburg Commercial Court.
The State claims Mathura declared to Ellerines Furnishers that he was a freelance radio announcer, and offered voice-over services to the plaintiff and asked to be invoiced through his company, Shasim Entertainment Enterprises (SEE).
According to Matthew Wilcock, the plaintiff who was cross-examined yesterday, Mathura overcharged the company for his services and allegedly falsified invoices.
Advocate JG Dobie, acting for Ellerines, had earlier alleged that Mathura had overcharged for the advertisements, which were flighted on Lotus FM.
He added that in October 2010 Mathura had profited secretly by entering into an agreement with the SABC on behalf of Ellerines. The defendant used his own postal address as the billing address, indicated that he was the person responsible for the payment and that payment would be made from his own banking account.
The trial was postponed to October19 or 20.
Source: The Star