The African National Congress (ANC) in the Nkangala region in Mpumalanga has said that it welcomes the decision by Nkangala District Municipality Mayor Sarah Masilela to voluntarily step aside with immediate effect from her position as mayor and as the party’s member, following her arrest on Monday for alleged fraud.
The 67-year-old Masilela, and eight others, appeared in the Middelburg Magistrate’s Court and were granted R10 000 bail each.
Hawks spokesperson, Captain Dineo Lucy Sekgotodi said the case was postponed to 10 September 2021 for it to be transferred to the Serious Commercial Crimes Court.
Sekgotodi said Masilela’s alleged accomplices are Gigimani Swartboy Sindane (59); the secretary of the Ndzundaza Mabhoko Traditional Council, Tebogo Nkamide Matiwane (50); the general manager of social development within the district municipality Thembi Ndlovu (50); the municipality’s co-ordinator for social services Given Sipho Jele (33) and his company Somziloyi Business Enterprise; Simon Prince Musiza (33) and his company Zenzazona PTY LTD; Vincent Jabu aibiya (39) and his company Megaworks Trading Enterprise; Elvis Sifiso Ntuli (36) and his company Ngibongaimpilo PTY LTD and Thabo Wiseman Ntuli and his company Ngezabanqobi Supply Trading and Enterprises.
Sekgotodi added that the accused were charged for theft, forgery and Contravening the Public Finance Management Act (PMFA).
“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 in access of approximately R215 730,” Sekgotodi said.
The spokesperson of the ANC Nkangala region Sello Matshoga said Masilela opted to voluntarily step aside from her position and from the party so she can concentrate on the criminal court case.
Matshoga said: “In light of the charges and appearance in court, members of the African National Congress are guided by the ANC 54th national Conference resolution on what needs to be done in such a situation. Resolution 9 on fighting crime and corruption in paragraph 9.2 states as follows:
“Q) ANC should strengthen consequence management systems against comrades who participate or are found guilty of corruption.
“R) Reaffirm the 2015 NGC resolution that, ANC leaders and members who are alleged to be involved in corrupt activities, should, where necessary step aside until their names are cleared.”
Matshoga clarified that Masilela will not be able to perform all her duties as mayor and that the position will be filled on an acting basis “until the matter has been amicably resolved”.
“We reiterate our view that whilst the ANC respects the legal principle of presumption of innocence until proven guilty, the charges that Cde Masilela faces are of a grave nature and are viewed in their serious magnanimity.
“We are however encouraged by Cde Masilela’s decision to place the interest and integrity of Nkangala District and the ANC ahead of her own by stepping aside,” Matshoga said.