EASTERN CAPE- 15 suspects including high profile Buffalo City employees, prominent political party members and businessmen as well as business entities appeared this morning, 12 February 2021 in the East London Magistrates court on charges of Fraud, Money Laundering, Contravention of Municipal Finance Management Act and Corruption.
The suspects, Zukiswa Ncitha, Themba Tinta, Luleka Simon Ndzele, Sindiswa Gomba, Thembakazi Sali, Phumzile Mkolo, Viwe Vazi, Zintle Nkuhlu, Nqaba Ludidi, Nosiphiwo Mati, Forty Wings Lodge, Mandela Trading CC, Mpindo’s Emergency and Trading Company were charged with allegations relating to the procurement of service providers for the transportation and booking of venues during the memorial service and funeral preparations of the late Dr Nelson Mandela by the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality. This happened between the period of 2013 and 2014. The alleged fraudulent claims add up to a total of R10 million.
All accused appeared except for one who is in quarantine and will appear once healthy enough to do so. The accused were granted R1000 bail each with conditions and will appear again in court on the 05 March 2021.
The Eastern Cape Provincial Head of the Directorate For Priority Crime Investigation Major General Obed Ngwenya lauded the Serious Commercial Crime Investigation team for ultimately bringing the perpetrators to justice for squandering resources during a period when the country was mourning the death of an icon.