Former Eastern Cape Health MEC, Sindiswa Gomba, and eleven others once again appeared briefly at the East London Regional Court on charges of corruption, money laundering, fraud and contravention of the Municipal Finance Management Act Yesterday.
“Gomba, Phumlani Mkolo, Zukiswa Veronica Ncitha, Themba Tinta, Luleka Simon-Ndzele, Tembelani Prideaux Sali, Ondela Vatile Mahlangu, Viwe Vazi, Zintle Nkuhlu (a trustee of the Lilly Rose Trust), Nosiphiwo Mati, Dean William Fanoe and Nqaba Ludidi had their bail extended.” Said NPA National Spokesperson Sipho Ngwema
“They are charged with Vazi, Mati and Fanoe’s respective companies, Forty Wings Lodge CC, Mpidos Emergence and Training CC, and Mantella Trading 522 CC.” Said Ngwema in a statement.
It is alleged that they schemed to swindle the BCM out of R10m during the preparations of the funeral of former President, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, in December 2013. It is alleged that R5,9m was already transferred to them before the municipal manager, Andile Fani, stopped the further payment of R4,1m.
The matter was provisionally remanded to 28 July 2021 at the East London Magistrates’ Court for merit consultation, management of pre-trial matters and possible determination of a trial date.
On 06 December 2013, before the BCM had an opportunity to officially consider procurement of services for the funeral, Mkolo agreed with a service provider, Mzwandile Sokwali from Victory Ticket 750 CC (Victory Ticket) to submit an inflated quotation for the transportation of mourners to various venues.
Sokwali was also asked to obtain a quotation from another service provider, for an amount more than Victory Ticket’s quotation. This was done and MNI Transport also submitted a quotation to the value of R10,5 million.
It is alleged that the BCM officials acted with a common purpose to defraud and manipulate municipal procurement processes through illegal deviation in order to ensure the appointment of Victory Ticket. Further, Nkuhlu, Mati and her company, Mpidos, received proceeds of unlawful activities, as arranged between Mkolo and Sokwali.
The plan was, firstly, to mislead the BCM council into accepting that it was expected of the BCM to make funding available for the transportation of mourners to various venues where memorial services were to be held, and then to manipulate the situation so that funding could be used for other purposes than for what they officially were approved for.
In December 2014, Sokwali and his company, Victory Ticket, pleaded guilty to fraud and money laundering after entering into a plea and sentence agreement with the state. He was fined R100 000, with R50 000 suspended, and sentenced to five years imprisonment wholly suspended for five years.