On Friday, the Hawks announced the arrest of Buffalo City officials, prominent political party members, businessmen and entities who defrauded the municipality a sum of up to R10 million in the procurement of transportation and booking of venues during Mandela’s memorial service and funeral preparations.
All accused appeared in the East London Magistrate’s Court on charges of fraud, money laundering, corruption and contravention of the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA).
Eastern Cape Health MEC, Sindiswa Gomba, and eleven other accused persons, were released on bail after they briefly appeared on charges of corruption, money laundering, fraud and contravention of the MFMA linked to the Buffalo City Municipality Nelson Mandela Funeral scandal. pic.twitter.com/UGfWWSuw0H
— Scapegoat (@AndiMakinana) February 12, 2021
One suspect is in quarantine and will appear at a later stage. The accused were granted R1000 bail each and will appear again in court on 5 March 2021.
Gomba is accused along with 14 others including ANC MP Veronica Ncitha, who is the former mayor of the municipality, former member of the provincial legislature Themba Tinta and former council speaker Luleka Simon Ndzele.
Others implicated in the case are Phumzile Mkolo, Viwe Vazi, Zintle Nkuhlu, Nqaba Ludidi, Nosiphiwo Mati, Forty Wings Lodge, Mandela Trading CC, Mpindo’s Emergency and Trading Company
Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane said he viewed the criminal charges against the health MEC very seriously.
“Now that she has been charged by the NPA [National Prosecuting Authority] and released on bail, I will look into this matter and will soon communicate my decision to the people of [province],” he said.
Mabuyane added that when he appointed Gomba as MEC, she was not facing any charges because the NPA had provisionally withdrawn charges against her.