Vikash Mathura found not guilty on 14 counts of fraud & theft

Vikash Mathura appeared yesterday, March 6, 2018 at the Commercial Crimes Unit for the final verdict of against charges of fraud and theft. 

Mathura has remained convinced and stood by his claim since the outset of the case that he is not guilty and he has made very few statements in public regarding the matter during the period of the case. 

The judgment took over 1 hour to complete of which Mathura was found not guilty on 14 counts of fraud and theft. 

Mathura appeared at the Eloff Street court for the verdict along with his daughter, Simran and wife, JJ Mathura broke down after their victory against the charges raised against him.

Here’s Vikash Mathura’s statement on social media over the matter: 

Since 2012, I have been castigated in the media. I have been ridiculed and judged by the public. I was subjected to all forms of disrespect from my “peers” in the entertainment industry and in the corporate Sector.

Newspaper journalists took great pride in reporting my sudden dismissal from Ellerine Holdings Limited (a one-time subsidiary of a JSE Top-40 listed organization, wherein I was the Group Marketing Executive…responsible for driving a multi-billion rand retail sales portfolio).

Front pages were splashed with editorials about the 14 counts of fraud and theft that I had been charged with. Newspapers pasted my story on street pole posters. It definitely sold more copies of their product.

Many equally condemned my wife and my two children. “guilty by association”, they said cynically. Why? Because inherently, we are all judgmental. People, who don’t know me personally, didn’t think twice about posting defamatory comments on social media.

Armchair critics wrote: “There is no smoke without fire. He is guilty!”

Others commented: “If a JSE Top-40 listed organization has charged him with 14 counts of Fraud and Theft, then it must be true”.

The son-in-law of a priest (who was known to our family at the time) also wrote his bit (under a poorly disguised pseudonym):

“The thief stole money. Now we know how they afforded overseas holidays, fancy homes, and expensive cars”.

Through all of this, my family and my close friends gave us their unequivocal support. It’s during such times, that you are quickly reminded of whom your “sincere” well wishes are. And it’s only your unwavering faith in Him that keeps you sane…and gets you through each day.

Today, as the Magistrate in the Commercial Crimes Court in Eloff Street (Jhb) read his verdict for just under an hour, not one journalist attended the court proceedings to report on the judgement that was being handed down. Perhaps, they anticipated the outcome. Or perhaps, they know that “not guilty” verdicts don’t create the same sensationalism that ultimately sells their newspapers.

The magistrate described the State’s case as shockingly weak…at best. He said that this case should never have even come to court! He went on to describe how unreliable and unconvincing most of Ellerine and The State’s witnesses were. Much of their testimony was riddled with contradictions…and/or blatant lies…and/or sudden convenient losses of memory. At the end, JJ and Simran burst into tears as the Magistrate looked at me apologetically and pronounced: “Mr. Mathura, I find you NOT GUILTY on ALL 14 counts“.

So why did my former employers do this?

Despite their denials, their key instigators know the truth. There was only place for one Senior Marketing Executive in the Group. At Ellerine Holdings, we had two…me, and the guy I reported to. I was the strategist who brought in the results, and he was the guy who claimed the glory at private executive meetings with the Group CEO.

Eventually, there were whispers amongst the most senior ranks, that the Group did not need two Senior Marketing Executives. One needed to go. Indications were that I was the guy who needed to stay. Unfortunately for me, my former boss decided that I was the one who needed to be discredited…at any cost…to secure his own future in that company. His strategy was simple: Create a host of trumped-up charges to ensure that I would be dead and buried…and that I would never re-surface. Then, he hoped that they would frustrate me with a lengthy and costly legal process…that would force me to eventually capitulate.

On how Lotus FM tried to steal the rights to Bala & Peru

Unfortunately for that bunch of individuals, I hold my principles very dear to me. When I “retired” from Lotus FM in 2014, I took the SABC to court because I discovered that they had secretly tried to register the “Peru & Bala” brand as their own trademark. It was a David and Goliath battle…but I forged ahead. They eventually withdrew their application, allowing Ray Maharaj and I to claim ownership of the brand that we had created 17 years earlier.

My decision to “allow” Ellerine Holdings to take me to court was my strategy. It was an even bigger David and Goliath battle…but I knew that it was the only platform wherein objective justice would be dispensed. During the past 6 years, it crippled my family emotionally and financially. JJ and I endured reputational damage, and my children suffered psychological trauma. My entertainment career came to a grinding halt, and the dark cloud of this “fraud and theft” case lingered over my head whenever Global Companies would approach me to offer me another Senior Executive role in their organizations.

But we soldiered on. And today, I was vindicated. The future is bright again. With the love and support of my family and my close friends…and of all our well wishers over the years…we endured…albeit at great sacrifice. We are now ready to move forward again. We will definitely contemplate our next legal position with those perpetrators who took away almost 7 years of our lives.

My message to you…from our personal ordeal…is to NEVER judge people…especially if you are not privy to the facts. There is usually more…to what you think you know.

A special expression of gratitude from my family to all of you who have not been judgmental, and who gave me the benefit of the doubt. Your positive energy has always been felt in our home. We send our best wishes back to you and yours.

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