Deputy minister taken in by bogus lawyer

Deputy Minister of Communications Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams. File picture: Kopano Tlape

Deputy Minister of Communications Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams. File picture: Kopano Tlape

Published Jun 3, 2016



Johannesburg - The 33-year-old conman who masqueraded as a lawyer until he was bust by the Hawks last week once represented the deputy minister of communications in court.

Makhetha Mathumba has been exposed as a fake lawyer who only has a matric in spite of claiming he's a graduate of the University of Cape Town, Wits University and the University of Johannesburg.

However, Deputy Minister of Communications Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams used his services in 2012 when she took some members of the ANC Youth League to court following the release of a letter that criticised her over remarks she had made about Winnie Madikizela-Mandela on Facebook.

The Star sent queries to Ndabeni-Abrahams’s office over the use of Mathumba despite the fact that he was not qualified and was found to have fleeced unsuspecting victims of more than R1.5 million.

Her private secretary, Phuti Marutla, said Ndabeni-Abrahams used Mathumba’s services in her personal capacity in the ANCYL case in 2012.

“The matter relating to the credibility or qualifications of Mathumba did not arise. The deputy minister has noted that the matter is before the court and will not comment,” Marutla said.

Ndabeni-Abrahams had penned the post following Madikizela-Mandela's criticism of President Jacob Zuma’s polygamous lifestyle.

Magdalene Moonsamy, who was with the ANCYL at the time, responded by writing an open letter to Ndabeni-Abrahams, attacking her for criticising Madikizela-Mandela. However, when another letter later surfaced - which Moonsamy distanced herself from - Ndabeni-Abrahams took the people whose names appeared at the bottom of that letter to court, including Moonsamy.

This was despite the fact that her name was not on the letter.

Mathumba, who was representing Ndabeni-Abrahams in the matter, was quoted by The Star as saying: “The charges are crimen injuria and defamation of character. We are suing all those people on the letter, including Magdalene (Moonsamy).”

It was not clear how that case ended.

Mathumba is currently in custody after being arrested for fraud, impersonating legal representatives and contravening the Attorneys Act.

He has stated that the intends to plead guilty.

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