THE chief financial officer of Matlosana Local Municipality, who was arrested and charged with corruption last week by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks), was bailed out by the son of the service provider she was arrested with.
In what may strengthen the case of corruption against Mercy Phetla, it has emerged that Phetla’s bail, of R35 000, was paid by the son of her co-accused, 49 year-old Nomthandazo Mokasule, who is accused number three in the case.
This was after she was charged for allegedly receiving a kickback gift of a car worth R1.4 million in exchange for a service delivery tender she gave to GMHM Construction and Projects, a company doing business with the municipality.
Mokasule is one of the two GMHM employees who was arrested alongside Phetla and charged with corruption by the Hawks’ Serious Corruption Investigation Unit.
Following their arrests, the trio appeared in the Klerksdorp court and were released on R35 000 bail each.
Their case was postponed to March 1 2024 for further investigation. They have been ordered to hand over their passports to the investigating officers, and all documents relating to GMHM were to be immediately removed from Phetla.
In the bail receipt seen by the Sunday Independent, it emerged that the person who paid for Phetla’s bail was Masego Mokasule (23), the son of Mokasule, who is alleged to have paid millions to Phetla in exchange for favours.
Asked to disclose who had paid for her bail application and why the name of the son of her co-accused appeared on the reciept, Phetla denied it was the son of the accused and said that it was a friend.
“I cannot disclose to you who paid for my bail because that would be an invasion of my privacy. You can go on writing whatever you like but I will never disclose the name of my friend,” she said.
Attempts to get a comment from Masego were not successful, however, his father Thomas Patric Mokasule, also known as “McGuyver” and who is Mokasule’s husband, came to the defence of his son and responded to the Sunday Independent, saying the bail was a loan to Phetla.
“Yes, my son paid for her bail, but it was a loan and she has since paid it back into his account. We have nothing to hide… so whichever information you need we will make sure you have it,” he said.
Asked where his son got the money from, the father said his son was a project manager.
On Thursday last week the Matlosana council, which is led by the ANC, resolved that Phetla continue with her municipal duties despite her facing serious charges of corruption.
In a message seen by the publication, the ANC Chief Whip in council, Khaya Ndincede, wrote: “On the CFO matter we resolved in line with the mandate of the ANC. We are currently waiting for the ANC to interact with the Caucus or Troika on the next step to be taken. The CFO will continue performing her duties as required.”
Various attempts to get a comment from Ndincede failed as he did not respond to the publication.
Last week before her arrest, Phetla claimed that she was more powerful than ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula, who is described as the engine of the ANC, posting on her WhatsApp status, “I am even powerful than Mbalula (Mr 10%) nna ke (I am) Ms 15%.”
Asked about her post, Phetla did not respond to Sunday Independent. However, when she responded to a The Insight Factor reporter she asked: “Is it wrong to joke about it? Such a statement would be quoted out of context if not understood from the joking manner from the background it came from.”
Sources within the municipality told the Sunday Independent that after the trio were granted bail, one of them boasted about how the case “would disappear” as all they needed to do was raise funds to “make the case go away”.
However, Hawks spokesman Warrant Officer Amogelang Waletse told the publication that her unit had appointed the best investigators and that no amount of pressure would deter them from doing their work.
“We understand the influence and power the accused may wield, but it is important to remind the people that this is a high-profile case and we have capable investigating officers who have the best track record in executing their mandate… there is no way they will get distracted by anyone,” Waletse said.
Waletse further said that the Hawks’ Serious Corruption Investigation Unit was keeping a close eye on the matter.