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Bongo Nombiba finally submits petition for leave to appeal at Supreme Court

By Afikile Lugunya - Sep 12, 2018
Bongo Nombiba finally submits petition for leave to appeal at Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in Bloemfontein on Tuesday received disgraced Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality ANC Councillor, Bongo Nombiba's, petition that he be allowed to appeal his conviction and sentence for fraud and that the court revokes the warrant of arrest that had been issued against the councillor.

On Friday last week, Nombiba failed to meet the deadline to submit his petition to the Supreme Court of Appeal that his conviction and sentence be overturned leading the Grahamstown High Court to issue a warrant for his arrest.

Apparently Nombiba did submitt his application to the Supreme Court of Appeal, but the petition had missing documents, which led to Nombiba’s warrant of arrest.

A letter from the Grahamstown High Court confirming that there were no reasons given for refusing leave to appeal on 2 August 2018 and the original confirmatory affidavit from his attorney, Mr N E Mbewana, were the missing documents.

Nombiba made an application to the Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa for an order that the late filing of his appeal against the dismissal of the petition by the Eastern Cape Division of the High Court (Chetty J and Huisamen AJ) be condoned.

He also applied that he be granted leave to appeal against the conviction and sentence imposed by the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court.

See the submission HERE.

Nombiba was found guilty of fraud and money laundering on the 9th of March 2018 and sentenced to seven years imprisonment - of which three years was suspended to five years.

On the 26th of April, Nombiba was sentenced to five years direct imprisonment.

On the 4th of June, he applied for leave to appeal, which was denied on the day.

He didn’t give up. On the 11th of April, he submitted his petition for leave to appeal in the Division of the High Court.

On the 4th of June, Nombiba was granted bail of R2 000 pending a petition to appeal both his convction and five-year sentence for fraud and money laundering.

On the 2nd of August, his petition for leave to appeal was denied by the Grahamstown High Court.

At the time, Nombiba’s attorney, Mr N E Mbewana, received the court’s decision, but Nombiba claimed that he was only made aware of the order on the 13th of August, “at which point in time, I acquired the services of my current attorney of record,” he wrote to the Supreme Court of Appeal.

His new and current attorney, Thabo Kwinana, apparently only received the record proceedings as well as the petition on the 22nd of August.

Nombiba, from Kwazakhele, was accused of swindling the municipality of the money, 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 Nombimba 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.

Several ANC members, including councillor, Andile Lungisa, were at the court to welcome Nombiba when he was released on bail.

Lungisa himself was released in May on a R10 000 bail after serving only 16 days of his two-year sentence at the North-end Prison. Lungisa was convicted on a charge of assault with the intent to cause Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH), was sentenced to three years behind bars at the beginning of May. 

Lungisa faced charges of assaulting Democratic Alliance (DA) councillor, Rano Kayser, and allegedly smashed a glass jug filled with water over Kayser’s head during a brawl that broke out a Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality council meeting in October 2016.

ANC Regional Secretary, Themba Xathula, said that they hope Nombiba can be found not guilty on appeal so that he can return to the Council Chambers and assume his Councillor duties.