City of Tshwane's Deputy Chief Whip Mpho Mehlape-Zimu lays fraud charges against the ANC in Tshwane at Brooklyn police station for allegedly forging councillors' signatures. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)
Pretoria - The Deputy chief whip of Tshwane council Mpho Mehlape-Zimu yesterday pressed fraud charges against the ANC regional leadership for allegedly forging signatures of seven members of council.

Mehlape-Zimu laid the charges at Brooklyn Police Station, accusing the ANC in the City of “an attempt to convene an illegal council sitting” last week.

She implicated ANC chief whip Aaron Maluleka, saying he must be held accountable for the alleged fraudulent signatures, appended on a petition crafted by the ANC, requesting council speaker Katlego Mathebe to convene a special council sitting. The purpose of the proposed sitting was to pass motions of no-confidence in mayor Stevens Mokgalapa, Mathebe, chief whip Christo van den Heever, acting speaker Zweli Khumalo and chair of chairs Gert Pretorius, including the dissolution of all Section 79 oversight committees.

Mehlape-Zimu said the ANC leaders, including party chairperson Dr Kgosi Maepa, must be held accountable for the appending of the signatures. She said Maluleka, as a party chief whip councillor and custodian of discipline in the ANC caucus, needed to take responsibility. She refused to disclose the names of the seven implicated ANC councillors whose signatures were allegedly forged.

Asked whether her party had verified the alleged fabrication of signatures with a handwriting expert, she said: “That is why we are bringing the case to the SAPS because we are not writing experts.”

However, Mehlape-Zimu insisted the signatures did, at a glance, appear dodgy.

“With the comparisons we have made and to the naked eye they are wrong. That is why we are opening a case with the SAPS to ascertain whether we are correct or not. But we are sure we have a strong case,” she said.

“Our rules and orders say we need to conduct our affairs in an honourable and transparent way for the benefit of the people of Tshwane and for our democracy as a whole. Now if the ANC would go through these underhanded tactics to unseat a government it calls into question what will they do once they are in government,” she said.

Maepa rejected claims the party leadership had faked signatures of councillors.

“None of the ANC councillors whose signatures are forged laid a complaint with the police; if indeed there are forged signatures of ANC councillors, they must be the ones to complain and lay charges, not the DA,” he said.

It was bizarre that the DA had laid complaints “on behalf of the chairperson and his deputy who are legally supposed to be the complainants in a case of their forged signatures, not the DA”.

Maepa said: “We see through the speaker that she wants to indirectly preside over a meeting where she is conflicted and there is a motion of no-confidence against her and her entire office.

“She should know better that the legislation is clear the city manager must preside over the meeting, or a representative of the MEC, in the absence of a Speaker of Council, which is the case for the meeting on Thursday.”

Pretoria News