Ricochet News

East London couple accused of defrauding church make bail bid

JUNE 25, 2015
East London couple accused of defrauding church make bail bid

An East London couple accused of defrauding the Twelve Apostles Church in Christ of R7.09 million are expected to apply for bail on Thursday. The couple appeared briefly in the East London Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday facing 53 counts of fraud.

Zola Maziyana and his wife, Zukiswa, face additional 123 counts of money laundering under the Prevention of Organised Crime Act.

The State is expected to oppose bail for Maziyana, who is also the President of the South African Social Practitioners’ Union (SASPU), and not for his wife, who is believed to be pregnant.

According to the State, the Twelve Apostles Church in Christ appointed Maziyana to investigate delays in payments due to the church from a Sanlam affinity financial scheme.

He then allegedly lied to the church that the National Prosecuting Authority and/or Asset Forfeiture Unit were assisting him in the investigations and needed to be reimbursed for their costs.

Church President, Professor Caesar Nongqunga, then transferred R6.8 million from the church’s bank account and R227 000 from his personal bank account into Zukiswa’s accounts.

The couple reportedly took the money and bought a R1.08 million property in East London's Sunnyridge surbub; building materials worth R203 385 for family homes in Tabankulu and Cungcwini as well as vehicles worth R320 809.

The Asset Forfeiture Unit has since attached the couple’s assets totalling R4 million.

However, in a statement, SASPU said there was a conspiracy against Maziyana and his wife.

“We know that all this is political. It has nothing to do with Maziyana as a person but it is targeting the organisation,” Deputy President, David Kayingana, told the Daily Dispatch.