VOC News has learnt that the case involving accused Shahied Stakala will be transferred to the Bellville Commercial Court due to the significant amount of money involved. All cases opened against Stakala from various police stations in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg will all be handed to one state prosecutor in Bellville.
However, spanning a two year time frame, no progress has been made in the overall charges against Stakala. VOC News was able to ascertain information on the case from an insider at the Commercial Court regarding the future of Stakala pending an outcome from the investigation. A source confirmed that charges against Stakala have been withdrawn from the Mitchells Plain Magistrate’s court as the case can not stay on the court roll indefinitely. However, this does not mean that Stakala is off scot-free. While Stakala was given both his and his wife’s passport along with the bail money after charges were withdrawn, Stakala’s fate is still to be determined by the Commercial Crimes Court.
According to the source, investigating officers are slowly managing to break down the events leading up to Stakala’s arrest but due to the large amount of money and people involved, the investigation still remains inconclusive. Other parties involved in the matter, Lamy South Africa, who were responsible for all the bookings, will still be investigated. Police are working towards ascertaining where the money Stakala transferred to the company is now.
Hundreds of affected mu’tamireen are still coming forward and opening a case against Stakala after they bought a subsidised umrah tour from the Gaironiesa Foundation, which is headed by Stakala. Mu’tamireen were informed at the eleventh hour, in December 2013, that they would no longer be leaving for umrah due to a lack of funds. Aggrieved mu’tamireen demanded a full refund, which Stakala claimed he could not produce as there had been no more money. VOC News is aware of at least one family in Cape Town who had paid Stakala an estimated R100 000 for a family of eight who made travelling arrangements with him for umrah. (Ra’eesah Isaacs)