NPA shows 'serious concern' as Mandela funeral fraud case against Mkolo is withdrawn
The National Director of Public Prosecutions, Shamila Batohi, has expressed serious concern over the withdrawal of the case against controversial Eastern Cape ANC leader Pumlani Mkolo and 10 others implicated in the Nelson Mandela memorial fraud scandal.
National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) national spokesperson Bulelwa Makeke, in a statement on Friday, said: “The NPA is concerned at this turn of events and has asked for an urgent report on the reason for the delays and what action will be taken to ensure that the matters are placed back on the roll as soon as possible. This matter is one of the high profile matters on the Anti-Corruption Task Team [ACTT] list, which should have received priority.”
Makeke confirmed that the acting director of public prosecutions (DPP) in the Eastern Cape Division, Indhrambal Goberdan, had provisionally withdrawn charges against all accused at the East London magistrate’s court in respect of the following matters: State versus Ncitha and others; State versus Viswanathan Pillay; and State versus Mkolo and others.
“These charges are all related to funds that were allegedly fraudulently diverted from the Buffalo City Municipality budget meant for former president Nelson Mandela’s funeral,” she said.
Makeke said Goberdan came to the decision to provisionally withdraw the case as she does not anticipate that the cases will be ready to proceed on the scheduled dates of next appearance, which are May 13, 17 and 30.
The accused faced charges of fraud, corruption and money laundering.
Mkolo is the suspended ANC Dr WB Rubusana regional chairperson and a controversial figure. His co-accused include four other senior provincial ANC politicians – Sindiswa Gomba (ANC MPL), Zukiswa Ncitha (ANC NCOP MP), Themba Tinta (ANC MPL) and Luleka Simon-Ndzele (ANC councillor).
The case against business-people Nosiphiwo Mati, Zintle Nkuhlu, Viwe Vazi and Dean Fanoe and Buffalo City senior officials Vincent Pillay and Ondela Mahlangu is also being withdrawn...