Mayor Thembi Sarah Masilela, 8 others get bail after arrests for alleged fraud
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Pretoria - Nkangala District Municipality executive mayor Thembi Sarah Masilela has been released on R10 000 bail after she was arrested by the provincial Hawks’ serious commercial crime investigations unit for alleged fraud.
Masilela, who leads the Mpumalanga municipality, was arrested with eight other government officials and business people.
They all face charges of theft, forgery and contravening the Public Finance Management Act.
The eight others, who were also granted bail on Monday, are the secretary of the Ndzundaza Mabhoko Traditional Council, Gigimani Swartboy, Sindane, 59, social development general manager within the municipality, Tebogo Nkamide Matiwane, 50, social services co-ordinator, Thembi Ndlovu, 50, as well as businessmen Given Sipho Jele, 33, Simon Prince Musiza, 33, Vincent Jabu Sibiya, 39; Elvis Sifiso Ntuli, 36, and Thabo Wiseman Ntuli.
The businessmen arrested along with the mayor are owners of Somziloyi Business Enterprise, Zenzazona Pty Ltd, Megaworks Trading Enterprise, Ngibongaimpilo Pty Ltd and Supply Trading and Enterprise respectively.
The companies are alleged to have colluded with Masilela to defraud the municipality.
Hawks spokesperson Captain Dineo Lucy Sekgotodi, said: “It is alleged that Masilela colluded with the group in September 2019 and ensured that fraudulent documents were processed for payments for services which were never rendered. As a result the municipality lost approximately R215 730.”
Sekgotodi added that all of the nine accused were granted R10 000 bail each, and the case was postponed to September 10 for it to be transferred to the Serious Commercial Crime Court.
The office of the mayor could not be reached for comment.
Masilela joins a long list of ANC leaders who are facing criminal charges in courts across the country.
Former eThekwini chairperson and mayor Zandile Gumede was forced to step aside from the party’s responsibilities recently because she is facing a multimillion-rand corruption case.
The party’s KwaZulu-Natal deputy chairperson, Mike Mabuyakhulu, who is also facing corruption charges, voluntarily stepped aside earlier this year.
Another former KZN ANC mayor, Ntuthuko Mahlaba, appeared in the Newcastle Magistrate's Court recently on charges of murder.
Mahlaba, who is the ANC regional chairperson Newcastle mayor was arrested in 2019 for the 2016 murder of ANC Youth League leader Wandile Ngubeni.
In Limpopo, ANC provincial treasurer Danny Msiza stepped down last week because of his role in the looting of the R2.3 billion of the now collapsed VBS mutual bank, where mostly the poor had invested.