Johannesburg - Corruption was a cancer that had no place in the ANC nor South African society, the ruling party said on Monday.
This follows the arrest and court appearance of Buffalo City municipality mayor Zukiswa Ncitha and five other officials in the East London Magistrate's Court on Monday for alleged fraud involving Nelson Mandela's memorial service.
National spokesman Zizi Kodwa said in a statement the African National Congress noted the serious allegations against Ncitha, her deputy, senior officials, and the ANC regional secretary.
“The ANC will thus monitor the unfolding legal processes closely,” he said.
Earlier, Hawks spokesman Paul Ramaloko said the matter had been postponed to September 1, with those accused being granted R10 000 bail each.
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 ANC 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... 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.