File photo: Sizwe Ndingane

Rustenburg - The ANC in North West on Tuesday denied that it tried to swindle money from businesses in Tswaing.

"That is fraud, we did not write a letter asking businesses donations and promising them protection. Provincial secretary [Dakota Legoete] did not signed any letter, we do not know about this letter," said spokeman Gerald Modise.

"All ANC correspondence are on the official letter heads, in this case someone signed the letter claimed to be Dakota Legoete."

He said the ANC had opened a case at the Mahikeng police station in connection to the letter, sent to business people in Sannieshof.

The letter on a piece of paper, without the ANC letterhead, promised business people media coverage on at least eight radio stations in the province.

It urged businesses to donate about R17 000 to  buy food hampers.

"We will be distributing more than 1 000 hamper food parcels cost estimated to R580,000.00 [Five hundred and eighty thousand rand] so we need your financial contribution from each business in Sannieshof of at least two or three..." read the letter.

The food hampers were supposed to have been distributed at an event at Agisanang Stadium on June 30. The main objective of this event was allegedly to encourage young people to abstain from substance abuse, unsafe sexual relations, theft, gangsterism and related crimes. It was also meant to create a peaceful environment, avoid unnecessary protests, build a community police forum and neighbourhood watch to reduce housebreaking crimes.

ANC provincial secretary, Dakota Legoete,  ANC Youth Development Programme chairperson, Johannes Mothibedi, and ANC provincial chairperson, Supra Mahumapelo, were named as speakers.

The DA  said it has laid bribery charges against the ANC.

"We have opened a case at the Sannieshof police station. The case will be added to a similar case opened in Lichtenburg," said provincial DA chairwoman Carin Visser.

She said in the Lichtenburg case, businesses were promised protection during protests and media coverage, allegedly by the ANC.

"Since April this year, businesses from over the province were looted and burned down during protest actions – forcing owners to permanently close down their shops. Businesses need protection irrespective of their political standing or whether they contribute to the cause of the ANC," she said.

The letter surfaced at a time Thato Frederick Hungari is appearing in court for impersonating North West premier Supra Mahumapelo.

Hungari allegedly asked prominent people, including politicians, for money using Mahumapelo's name. He was expected to appear in court in September.