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Johannesburg - The chief whip of the Ekurhuleni metro council and two SA Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) leaders have been arrested over the alleged theft of R8.2 million from a union trust fund.
Hawks spokesman Paul Ramaloko said Satawu general secretary Zenzo Mahlangu, former Satawu president Ezrom Mabyana, and Robert Mashego, a former deputy president of the union, who is now the Ekurhuleni council’s chief whip, were arrested on Monday for crimes dating back to 2011.
“The arrests are in connection with fraud and theft related to the Sarhwu (SA Railways and Harbour Workers Union) Enablement Trust. They stole R8.2m from this fund (and bought) luxury vehicles and houses,” said Ramaloko.
The trust was established for investment purposes under Sarhwu before the merger that saw the formation of Satawu in 2000.
Ramaloko said Mahlangu, Mabyana and Mashego are out on bail, and their case would continue in the Johannesburg Special Crime Court on April 15.
Satawu spokesman Vincent Masoga said the charges levelled against the three were instigated by the splinter union, the National Transport Movement (NTM).
“It’s malicious prosecution of our leaders aimed at embarrassing and discrediting the organisation (Satawu),” he said.
NTM general secretary Liver Mngomezulu said Masoga was being “economical with the truth” because the case was a “purely criminal matter” that had nothing to do with union rivalry.
Mngomezulu, who was Satawu’s Gauteng chairman before his expulsion from the union in August, said he had opened a case against Mahlangu and Mabyana in June last year. He was suspended from the union the day after he opened the case.