Sarah Masilela steps aside as mayor

Sarah Masilela steps aside as mayor
STEP ASIDE: Nkangala district mayor Sarah Masilela has chosen to abide by the ANC's step aside resolution as she faces charges of fraud following her arrest Monday this week. PICTURE BY Hawks

She will take a leave of absence until her name is cleared.

Nkangala district mayor Sarah Masilela has stepped aside after being arrested for fraud this week.

An acting mayor will be put in her position while she focuses on her criminal case.

Masilela and 8 others were arrested by the Hawks and released on R10 000 bail each by the Middelburg Magistrates Court Tuesday 24 August 2021.

They are accused of defrauding the district municipality of R215 730 in September 2019 after allegedly processing documents for payment of work that was never done.

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ANC spokesman Sello Matshokga said they welcome Masilela’s “voluntary decision” to step aside as ANC member and mayor of the municipality.

The charges relate to money that was procured to be used for Heritage day celebrations that allegedly never took place. 

“When she has stepped aside, she will therefore not be able to perform all the responsibilities that go with the position of the executive mayor, as a full-time councillor. Therefore, we will ask another councillor to continue with her executive responsibilities in an acting capacity until the matter has been amicably resolved.  

We reiterate our view that whilst the ANC respects the legal principle of presumption of innocence until proven guilty, the charges that Comrade Masilela faces are of a grave nature and are viewed in their serious magnanimity,”  said Matshoga.

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The other 8 accused are; Gijimani Sindane (59) who is the secretary of the Ndzundaza Mabhoko Traditional council, the second one is Tebogo Matiwane (50) who is the general manager of the Nkangala department of social development, Thembi Ndlovu (50) who is a coordinator for social services, businessman Given Jele (33), his company Somziloyi business Enterprise, businessman Simon Musiza (33), his company Zenzazona PTY LTD, businessman Vincent Sibiya (39), his company Megaworks Trading Enterprise, businessman Elvis Ntuli (36), his company Ngibongaimpilo PTY LTD and businessman Thabo Wiseman Ntuli as well as his company Ngezabanqobi Supply Trading and Enterprises.

They are charged with theft, forgery and contravening the Public Finance Management Act (PMFA) and will return to court on 10 September 2021.

(edited by ZK)

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