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By News24 Wire

Wire Service

ANC Eastern Cape calls on members facing criminal charges to step aside

The members are facing charges including fraud, corruption, money laundering and contravening the Municipal Finance Management Act.

The African National Congress in the Eastern Cape is calling on all its members facing formal criminal charges to step down.

The call comes after Health MEC Sindiswa Gomba, ANC regional chairperson in the Buffalo City metro Phumlani Mkolo, and other ANC members appeared in court on Friday for a string of charges relating to a R10-million allegedly siphoned off in the name of Nelson Mandela’s funeral.

On Monday, the provincial working committee of the ANC, held a special sitting to discuss ongoing SIU investigations into Eastern Cape government departments and municipalities over questionable procurements of PPE.

ALSO READ: Mandela funeral fraud: Calls for Eastern Cape Health MEC’s sacking intensify

The PWC meeting was attended by Premier Oscar Mabuyane.

“The PWC reaffirmed the ANC 54th National Conference resolutions on fighting corruption and fraud that all comrades of the ANC who are formally charged for corruption or other serious crimes must immediately step aside from all their political responsibilities, pending the finalisation of their cases,” said provincial secretary Lulama Ngcukayithobi.

“All the affected comrades are expected to step aside and subject themselves to the provincial integrity commission.

“We therefore call on affected members to act in the interest of protecting the reputation of the movement by acting accordingly and PEC Officials have been mandated to meet each comrade individually before the end of this week,” said Ngcukayithobi.

Gomba and other ANC heavyweights in the Buffalo City Metro, and officials, are facing a string of serious charges including fraud, corruption, money laundering and contravening the Municipal Finance Management Act.

READ MORE: Here are the ANC bigwigs accused of scamming Buffalo City

The 15 are accused of misleading the municipality into believing that it had an obligation to make money available for a funeral and memorial service for former president Nelson Mandela in December 2013.

According to the charge sheet, once R10 million had been made available, the accused acted with a common purpose to defraud and manipulate municipal procurement processes through illegal deviation.

They allegedly manipulated the situation so that funding could be used for purposes other than for what they had officially been approved.

The accused were each released on R1 000 bail and the case was postponed to 5 March for the defence to be furnished with copies of the docket and for four outstanding accused to be brought to court.

Other ANC members accused alongside Gomba are former Buffalo City Metro mayor Zukisa Ncitha, former speaker Luleka Simon-Ndzele and former deputy mayor Themba Tinta.

During the PWC meeting, Mabuyane briefed the meeting on the outcomes of SIU investigation into PPE procurement that he had requested from the Office of the President.

ALSO READ: Hawks arrest 15 suspects over Nelson Mandela funeral fraud

The SIU report relates to provincial departments of health, public works and municipalities.

Mabuyane outlined the process of implementing the findings and recommendations by the SIU.

Having consulted all affected individuals, he assured the PWC that the matter would be taken to its logical conclusion by the end of the week.

The PWC further instructed Mabuyane to ensure that all municipalities that were investigated by the SIU also deal with their respective reports without delay.

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