A week later, ANC Eastern Cape still mum on serious fraud charges against Amathole Mayor

MAY 30, 2016

A week after Amathole District Municipality Executive Mayor, Nomasikizi Khonza, appeared in the East London Magistrate's Court for alleged fraud and corruption involving millions, the African National Congress (ANC) in the Eastern Cape is still to say anything about the allegations against one of its own.

Last week, RNews sent an email to the office of Provincial spokesperson of the party and by the time of publishing this article, the only reply this correspondent had was an email saying that our enquiry on how the ANC was handling the matter as well as Mayor Khonza's fate had been received.

The only reaction to date has been from the ANC Amathole region, which posted on its Facebook page last week Wednesday that it had noted the allegations against Mayor Khonza with "concern" claiming that an aggrieved faction in the region had colluded with the HAWKS to trump up the charges after Khonza overwhelmingly won nomination as the party's Mayoral candidate in the upcoming 2016 Local Government Elections.

Read more: AMATHOLE DISTRICT EXECUTIVE MAYOR AND SEVEN OTHERS
ARRESTED FOR FRAUD AND CORRUPTION

"The ANC in Amathole notes the developments pertaining to the charges that have been preferred on the District Mayor Cde Nomasikizi Konza and others by the Hawks, we must however express our concerns and discomfort from the onset where the timing of these charges have been applied as their facilitation takes place on the backdrop of our regional list conference, we hope those with the proximity to state apparatus have not pursued political objectives in other mediums when they could not accept internal democracy," the region said in the post.

"We have witnessed in recent times state institutions being manipulated to advance political scores and in the main taint the credibility of leaders in the public domain, it will therefore be prudent that the trial commences soonest so as a divide is drawn between prosecution and persecution.

"Our confidence in the judiciary remains unwavering it is through this medium Cde Konza and others will be afforded a fair and just trial. Utmost we have a duty to respect the constitutional rights of the accused and as such we ought to respect their presumption to innocence in the face of these charges."

Khonza appeared in court last week Monday with the Chairwoman of the Municipal Public Accounts Committee at the Nkonkobe Local Municipality, Nanziwe Rulashe. They were charged with defrauding the Amathole District Municipality of more than R2.5 million under the pretext of having funded the annual Miss Amathole Heritage beauty pageant.

According to the HAWKS, the funds were transferred into their personal accounts, as well as those of Sigcinile Mabixane and Mawande Njeza.

Khoza was released on bail of R15 000 and Rulashe on R10 000 bail, while Mabixane and Njeza were released on bail of R5 000 each. They are due back in court on July 8.

Read more: AMATHOLE DISTRICT EXECUTIVE MAYOR AND SEVEN OTHERS ARRESTED FOR FRAUD AND CORRUPTION