The warrant of arrest issued last week against convicted fraudster and disgraced African National Congress (ANC) councillor Bongo Nombiba has been cancelled, the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, known as the Hawks, confirmed on Thursday.
The African News Agency understands that the bail of Nombiba, who was seen at a council meeting on Thursday, was extended pending the outcome of a petition to the Constitutional Court.
Last year Nombiba, 43, was found guilty of fraud and money laundering and sentenced to an effective five years behind bars by the Port Elizabeth Commercial Crimes court.
He fleeced the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality of R20,000 from a discretionary fund meant for a township-based non-governmental organisation.
The disgraced councillor then turned to the Supreme Court of Appeal, which dismissed an application for leave to appeal his conviction and sentence in February.
Hawks spokesperson Captain Anelisa Feni confirmed that Nombiba’s arrest warrant had been set aside. Feni said Nombiba had filed an application to the Constitutional Court.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) wanted Nombiba to leave chambers on Thursday, saying he was at the meeting illegally.
“His condonation has not been granted. We can’t sit here with criminals … We can’t be lectured by people who have been sentenced,” said the DA’s Nqaba Bhanga.
The ANC’s female councillors left their chairs to chastise Bhanga, pointing their fingers in his face and demanding that he vacate the meeting.
The ACDP’s Lance Grootboom also said Nombiba should not be at the meeting while the ANC caucus insisted that he was a councillor and entitled to be there.
The ANC’s Andile Lungisa said if DA councillor Morne Steyn had a problem with Nombiba’s presence “he must go to the courts and get a warrant issued. We are a council here not a court”.
Council speaker Buyelwa Mafaya initially said she would not provide the paperwork to council confirming that Nombiba’s warrant had been cancelled. Mafaya later said she would provide the documentation to the party chief whips.
– African News Agency