1 minute read
17 Sep 2014
7:41 pm

Delay in case of former Cope treasurer

A private investigation into new aspects of fraud charges against Hildagrade Ndude, former parliamentary national treasurer of the political party, The Congress of the People (Cope), delayed the court proceedings on Wednesday.

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

Ndude and co-accused Irene Motha, formerly Ndude’s personal assistant in Parliament, appeared in the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court in Cape Town before magistrate Sabrina Sonnenberg.

Ndude’s defence team, Mustach Parker and Rheaz Khan, told the court private investigators had been engaged to probe the new aspects, and that they needed three months to present their report.

They did not explain what the new aspects entailed.

Ndude faces 23 counts of fraud, six of money laundering and one of theft, while Motha faces three fraud charges.

They have not yet pleaded.

Legal aid defence attorney Hayley Lawrence, for Motha, told the court she was ready for trial, and that they were not concerned with the new aspects.

Cited in the charge sheet as accused number three was the company Sithaba Holdings (Pty) Ltd, of which Ndude was one of the directors.

The company itself is charged with three counts of money laundering.

The case was postponed to December 9.

Cope had two main sources of funding from the National Parliament, pro rata to the number of seats that Cope occupies in Parliament, and from the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), for the purposes of functioning within the political sphere in the country.

In both cases, the funding is from taxpayers’ money, both have to have their individual bank accounts, and both are accounted for individually.

Ndude was the principal signatory for both accounts, together with the president of Cope.

According to the charge sheet, Ndude was Cope’s financial political head, and as the national treasurer had to ensure transparent management of Cope’s affairs.

Prosecutor Zama Mtayi alleges that she and Motha manipulated Cope’s electronic system to divert payments meant for suppliers into their own personal bank accounts, between April 2010 and May 2011.