Johannesburg - Early this month, ActionSA filed a motion of no confidence in Joburg mayor Kabelo Gwamanda, who has been accused of allegedly running an illegitimate funeral scheme that swindled Soweto residents out of their hardearned money.
In a statement issued on Monday, ActionSA Joburg caucus spokesperson Sthembelo Majola said the newly-elected mayor had a serious case to answer, which is why the party was calling for him to step down.
“Mayor Gwamanda faces serious criminal accusations of fraud, with reports this weekend that a funeral scheme he ran in Johannesburg was never registered at the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA), and is therefore illegal. ActionSA believes mayor Gwamanda has a serious case to answer and is not fit to be mayor when there are accusations that he defrauded the very residents he was supposed to serve,” Majola said.
Since becoming mayor of Joburg, Gwamanda has been forced to fend off allegations of corruption against him, mostly from ActionSA and the DA in the province.
However, this week, in a bid to fend off allegations, some members of the mayor’s office pointed out the hypocrisy of ActionSA, saying that ActionSA saw nothing wrong with their former city councillor, Reverend Dr Meshack van Wyk, who a few years ago was accused of having operated a funeral claims service scheme that left some Eldorado Park community members furious after losing their money.
“ActionSA is so quick to throw stones, yet their own PR councillor, Meshack van Wyk, scammed the people of Eldorado Park, so who is fooling who? He scammed the people of Eldorado Park from 2016 to 2019. He was exposed by the Moja Love show Re a Tsotella after he was accused of running a funeral scheme outside the agreement that expired in 2016,” said one of the mayor’s affiliates.
Van Wyk was cited by insurance company Assupol in March 2020 following the revelations made by the TV show.
The insurance company, which had partnered with Van Wyk, indicated in their statement that they had been aware of the alleged funeral claim services that angered “dissatisfied” community members.
“We can confirm that Assupol had a business relationship with Reverend Dr Meshack van Wyk that ended in 2016, but we will be in contact with the clients to get more details on the claims. We are aware of the concerns expressed by the interviewees on the show and wish to ensure the public that Assupol does not take any misconduct lightly. We are actively reaching out to Moja Love to fully understand the information they were provided with, as well as who they have been in contact with at Assupol,” the company said.
At the time, Assupol CEO Bridget Mokwena-Halala said they would continue to investigate the matter further.
However, ActionSA’s Michael Beaumont said the allegations against Van Wyk were untested.
“ActionSA takes note of the allegations that remain untested in the absence of a complaint or evidence being furnished to the party. Notwithstanding this fact, ActionSA has reached out to Councillor Van Wyk and requested an explanation. Councillor Van Wyk is co-operating with the party in this matter and has indicated that the claims are without foundation.”
The party said it would investigate this matter given the seriousness of the allegations.
“ActionSA is unlike Al Jam-ah in that our party investigates serious claims and has a track record of acting decisively where warranted. Both Al Jam-ah and Gwamanda have demonstrated a fundamental lack of accountability for the allegations they face,” Beaumont said.
Spokesperson for Al Jama-Ah Gauteng, Anisa Mazimpaka, said typically the party would not wish to speak on this matter, but due to “ActionSA’s hypocrisy”, they have been compelled to do so in light of the news that ActionSA member Van Wyk also conducted an illegal scheme.
“Ordinarily, we would not want to comment on a non-factor and bunch of unethical clowns led by the clown in chief himself Herman Mashaba who has proven that the only thing that they are to produce is a R12 million book of lies while trying to chase political clout,” said Mazimpaka.