Supporters of ANC Eastern Cape chair Pumlani Mkolo celebrate at court after corruption charges against him and others related to funds for the Nelson Mandela memorial going missing were provisionally withdrawn. Picture: ANA

Port Elizabeth - Hundreds of jubilant ANC supporters gathered and sang outside the East London Magistrate's Court on Monday where fraud charges against an Eastern Cape ANC leader and others implicated in the Nelson Mandela memorial scandal were withdrawn for the time being.

Police spokesperson Captain Hazel Mqala said the ruling party members were at court to support ANC regional chairperson, Pumlani Mkolo. 

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Bulelwa Makeke confirmed that the charges against the accused were provisionally withdrawn on Monday. 

Makeke said their intention was to bring the case back to court when the NPA was ready to proceed. Those who were implicated included Mkolo, former Buffalo City Mayor Zukiswa Ncitha and others. National director of public prosecutions, Shamila Batohi had earlier expressed serious concern over the withdrawal of the case. 

In a statement last week, the prosecuting authority said: “The NPA is concerned at this turn of events and has asked for an urgent report on the reason for the delays and what action will be taken to ensure that the matters are placed back on the roll as soon as possible. This matter is one of the high-profile matters on the Anti-Corruption Task Team's list, which should have received priority.”  

The accused had faced charges of fraud, corruption and money laundering relating to alleged fraudulent diversion of funds from the Buffalo City Municipality meant for a funeral service for former late President Nelson Mandela. 

African News Agency (ANA)