Eastern Cape mayor in court for Mandela fraud

The pair had been charged with stock theft.
Photo: Supplied

The pair had been charged with stock theft. Photo: Supplied

Buffalo City municipality mayor Zukiswa Ncitha and five other officials appeared in the East London Magistrate’s Court on Monday for alleged fraud involving Nelson Mandela’s memorial service.

“They were given R10 000 bail each,” Hawks spokesman Paul Ramaloko said.

The matter was postponed to September 1.

Ncitha, her deputy Temba Tinta, speaker Luleka Simon-Ndzele and three other municipal officials were arrested on Monday morning.

They face charges of fraud, corruption, and money laundering.

“It had to do with the transport of mourners to [Mandela’s] memorial,” Ramaloko said earlier in the day.

He could not give any other information.

The Daily Dispatch newspaper reported how politically connected “tenderpreneurs” cashed in on the former president’s memorial service in December, and how the Eastern Cape ANC had T-shirts made with public money.

The African National Congress in the province on Monday called on its members to allow the court process to reach a conclusion.

“All ANC members who might have information on this matter are urged to co-operate fully with the law enforcement agencies investigating this matter and our justice system to get to the bottom of this matter,” spokesman Mlibo Qoboshiyane said in a statement.

“We must maintain presumption of innocence until proven otherwise by the court of law. It also applies to these members.”

The Democratic Alliance in the Buffalo City municipality welcomed the arrests.

“We are pleased that our pleas for investigations by the Hawks and Public Protector have been heard, and we hope that those found guilty of looting the public purse in the name of Tata Mandela are held accountable for their actions,” DA councillor Lance Weyer said in a statement.

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