Bongo Nombiba was sentenced to five years behind bars on Thursday. Picture: ANA File

Port Elizabeth - A disgraced Nelson Mandela Bay councillor, convicted of fraud and money laundering and jailed for five years, has had his membership suspended by the African National Congress (ANC).

Eastern Cape Provincial Secretary, Lulama Ngcukayitobi, issued a statement on Thursday, shortly after Bongo Nombiba was sentenced in the Port Elizabeth Commercial Crimes Court.

Nombiba pocketed R20 000 of donation money meant for an NGO. 

The Thulamangwane Community Project is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) and renders services such as caring for elderly people and cleaning schools in the community. 

In 2014, the NGO's secretary, Zukiswa Mbhem, and its deputy chairperson, Mandisa Monco, together with other members, approached Nombiba to request a donation of R10 000 from the municipality to assist them financially.

During November 2014, an amount of R30 000 was paid into the bank account of the NGO. Nombiba conveyed to the NGO management that the Metro approved the donation and requested them to accompany him to the bank where he pocketed R20 000 of the money. 

The ANC in the Eastern Cape welcomed the stiff 5-year prison sentence but said it was saddened to see an ANC public representative enmeshed in criminal activity and ending up in jail.

“Since Councillor Nombiba has been suspended, organisational processes which include concluding disciplinary processes and Integrity Commission will be finalised as soon as yesterday,” said Ngcukayitobi.

He said that there would be no place in the ANC for those who have been involved in corrupt activities. 

“This sentencing can serve as a warning to other leaders and public representatives within our ranks to stay corrupt free, and perform their duties as expected by the public that we serve. It also sends a strong message that, even if it takes years, justice will be served where wrong has been done.”

In handing down sentence on Thursday, Magistrate Johannes Claassen said that Nombiba showed a clear lack of remorse and abused his position of trust. 

Claassen said the offences were serious, in that Nombiba was an officer bearer and the NGO staff were made out to be liars during the trial.

African News Agency/ANA