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ANC welcomes sentencing of its NMB Councillor, calls for speedy action on Mandela funeral saga

Apr 26, 2018
ANC welcomes sentencing of its NMB Councillor, calls for speedy action on Mandela funeral saga

The African National Congress (ANC) Eastern Cape on Thursday welcomed the five-year prison sentence handed to ANC Nelson Mandela Bay Ward Councillor, Bongo Nombiba, by the Port Elizabeth Commercial Crimes Court.

The Ward 20 Councillor was accused of allegedly swindling the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality of R20 000, which was part of a donation to an organisation caring for the elderly. He first appeared in court in December 2016.

According to the State, Secretary of a local non-governmental organisation (NGO) called Thulamangwane Community Project that renders services such as caring for elderly people and cleaning schools in the community, Zukiswa Mbhem, and Deputy Chairperson, Mandisa Monco, with other members, approached the Councillor to request a R10 000 donation from the municipality as financial assistance for the NGO.

It is alleged that Nombiba instructed the group to put their request in writing, but not to mention the amount that they had requested, which they did in September 2014.

The State claims that Nombiba then forwarded the request to the Metro for an amount of R30 000, which was apparently meant for the organisation.

In November 2014, the Metro deposited R30 000 into the NGO's Standard Bank Account. However, Nombiba told the NGO that of the R30 000 deposited - R10 000 was what the NGO requested and the R20 000 was his.

That is when the fraud came to light.

In March this year, he was convicted on fraud and corruption charges.

"While the ANC respects the right to appeal, it is saddened, at one level, of course, to see an ANC public representative enmeshed in criminal activity and ending up in jail.

"This sentencing can serve as a warning to other leaders and public representatives within our ranks to stay corrupt free, and perform their duties as expected by the public that we serve," said ANC Eastern Cape Spokesperson, Lulama Ngcukayitobi.

"It also sends a strong message that, even if it takes years, justice will be served where wrong has been done."

He said that it is absolutely essential, not least for the moral standing of the ANC that the criminal justice system pursues wrongdoing without fear or favour and that a powerful lesson is sent – no-one is above the law.

"In particular, as the African National Congress that can be proud of our struggle history , we should be in the forefront of ensuring that anyone who claims to represent our legacy, anyone who wears our colours, must not merely observe the law but actively set the highest moral example as defined in revolutionary terms," Ngcukayitobi added.

"There would be no place in the ANC for those, who have been involved in corrupt activities.

"Since Councillor Nombimba has been suspended, organizational processes, which include concluding disciplinary processes and Integrity Commission will be finalized as soon as yesterday."

On the Nelson Mandela funeral scandal trial, Ngcukayitobi said that the party has note the dragging of the funeral scandal case and the dark cloud that has been hanging for sometime to those accused in the case .

"NPA must urgently speed up the trial so that there can be closure on the matter," he said.

"Our view is not to tamper or interfere on the judiciary process but we are of the view that justice delayed is justice denied .

"Irrespective of positions , justice must be seen to take its course objectively without fear or favour. The judgemement in the NMB Councillor irrespective of the amount of funds involved , must also be a case in point on the Mandela funeral scandal amount of funds."

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Eastern Cape said that the sentencing shows that the ANC cannot be trusted with public money.