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Jailed ANC ward councillor Bongo Nombiba granted R2 000 bail

Jul 4, 2018
Jailed ANC ward councillor Bongo Nombiba granted R2 000 bail

Jailed African National Congress (ANC) Ward 20 Councillor, Bongo Nombiba, will petition the High Court against his conviction and sentence while out of prison after he was granted R2000 bail by the Port Elizabeth Commercial Crimes Court on Wednesday.

Nombiba was serving a five-year jail sentence at the St Albans Correctional Facility, just outside Port Elizabeth, after the court found him guilty of fraud and money laundering in March. 

In June, Magistrate Lionel Lindoor rejected the bail application, Nombiba’s new attorney, Advocate Vuyisile Calaza, from Mthatha, said that they will not give up.

Nombiba was sentenced to five years imprisonment by Magistrate Johannes Claassen, founding him guilty of fraud and money laundering.

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.

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.