Picture: Phill Magakoe/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

VOLKSRUST - The ANC in Mpumalanga has asked its chief whip in the Dr Pixley Ka Isaka Seme local municipality in Volksrust, Thulani Shabangu, to step down from the council and party activities pending the outcome of his court case after he was arrested for allegedly selling RDP houses, the party said on Friday.

Shabangu, 41, was arrested on Tuesday and appeared in the Amersfoort Magistrate’s Court on Thursday on charges of corruption, said provincial police spokesman Sergeant Gerald Sedibe. 

He was granted R50,000 bail and the matter was postponed to February 6 next year.

Acting ANC provincial secretary Lindiwe Mabona-Ntshalintshali told the African News Agency (ANA) that Shabangu would also be charged internally and face a disciplinary hearing early next year. She said the ANC would terminate his party membership if the court found him guilty of the charges he faced.

“We asked him not to represent us as chief whip and if the court finds him guilty, the ANC will also act,” said Mabona-Ntshalintshali.

“I cannot predict the charges he will face internally because that will depend on the disciplinary committee (DC). He must first come and answer for himself and the DC will decide.”

Mabona-Ntshalintshali said the ANC was deeply disappointed by the allegations against Shabangu.

“These [allegations] can damage the image of the ANC. We are very disappointed because when you are a chief whip, you are the eyes of the ANC. You cannot sell RDP houses whereas other people do not have a place to stay. We also discourage people in general from buying and selling RDP houses.”

Sedibe said Shabangu was charged with corruption but did not immediately say how many charges he faced.

“His [court] appearance follows an investigation that is underway after cases of corruption were opened against him in November 2017,” said Sedibe.

“The docket was taken to the public prosecutor for a decision and it came back recently with an instruction that he must be charged.”

Shabangu could not be reached for comment.

African News Agency (ANA)