COURT OUT!

Mabe gave money ‘‘ stolen ’’ from the poor to Shivambu

Sunday World - - Front Page - MZWANDILE kaBIZOKWAKHE and NKU­L­ULEKO NCANA

SE­NIOR ANC leader Pule Mabe shared the loot he al­legedly stole from the poor with Floyd Shivambu.

Sun­day World has es­tab­lished that of the R2-mil­lion al­legedly fleeced from the South African So­cial Se­cu­rity Agency (Sassa), R30 000 was given to Shivambu, the for­mer ANC Youth League spokesman who is now an Eco­nomic Free­dom Fight­ers (EFF) leader.

Sun­day World has re­li­ably learnt that pros­e­cu­tors will ar­gue in court that for­mer ANC Youth League trea­surer Mabe, his busi­ness as­so­ciate Sur­prise Ramosa, and Sassa com­mu­ni­ca­tions head Paseka Let­satsi are guilty of fraud for claim­ing money from Sassa for ser­vices not ren­dered.

The three were ar­rested on Fri­day and re­leased on R10 000 bail each af­ter ap­pear­ing in the Com­mer­cial Crimes Court in Pre­to­ria.

On the day news of Mabe’s ar­rest broke, Shivambu is said to have told the EFF pro­fes­sion­als’ fo­rum: “The per­se­cu­tion of Julius [Malema] is abuse of state re­sources, but the ar­rest of Pule Mabe today was the en­force­ment of the rule of law.”

But when told by Sun­day World that he was al­legedly one of the ben­e­fi­cia­ries of the stolen mil­lions, he said: “There was never a time Mabe gave me money for per­sonal or pri­vate pur­poses.

“As trea­surer of the youth league he con­stantly raised funds which helped with or­gan­i­sa­tional process, and the only time there could have been money, it was, to my knowl­edge, money from the league and meant for or­gan­i­sa­tional process.

“If the money were ill-got­ten or ac­quired il­le­gally, then the law must take its course and those who stole it be held ac­count­able.

“If Pule ac­quired money il­le­gally to fund youth league ac­tiv­i­ties, then such is wrong and up­set­ting.”

He later said: “It’s not true that the po­lice case says that I am a re­cip­i­ent of Pule’s do­na­tions. I think you’re get­ting that mis­lead­ing in­for­ma­tion from Pule, who’s a drown­ing man cling­ing on straws. He must go down alone if he re­ally stole Sassa money. ”

Mabe and Ramosa have also been

'It's not true that the po­lice case says I am a re­cip­i­ent of do­na­tions'

charged with money laun­der­ing be­cause they al­legedly tried to dis­guise the source of the funds.

The trio are al­leged to have si­phoned the money from the Sassa fund in­tended to ben­e­fit com­mu­nity projects in 2008.

Sun­day World has learnt that the ap­pli­ca­tion for a Sassa grant was made in the name of Con­sol­i­dated Fu­ture Growth and In­vest­ments Foun­da­tion.

It is al­leged that three in­voices for ser­vices ren­dered to the Pro­gres­sive Young Women’s Co­op­er­a­tive be­tween June and Au­gust 2008, to­talling R2 257 200, were at­tached to the foun­da­tion ’ s ap­pli­ca­tion for the grant.

The Pro­gres­sive Young Women’s Co­op­er­a­tive is a trust sup­pos­edly es­tab­lished by young women to fa­cil­i­tate com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment out­reach pro­grammes.

The in­voices are said to have been for the fol­low­ing amounts:

R627 000, paid to Con­sol­i­dated Com­mu­ni­ca­tion In­vest­ment Hold­ings (Pty) Ltd;

R775 000, paid to Bol­lanto In­vest­ment Hold­ings (Pty) Ltd; and

R855 000, paid to Broad Mar­ket Lo­gis­tics (Sur­prise SK), owned by Ramosa.

It is un­der­stood that the state will try to prove that, of the pay­ments made, R1 702 500 was paid into ac­counts di­rectly con­trolled by Mabe.

The state as­serts that Let­satsi, as a Sassa em­ployee, was in­stru­men­tal in en­sur­ing that pay­ments were made to ser­vice providers.

Sun­day World has been told that Mabe is al­leged to have con­trolled the dis­tri­bu­tion of the fraud­u­lent funds out of the ac­counts that re­ceived monies from Sassa funds.

It is al­leged that Mabe dis­trib­uted the money paid into one of his busi­ness ac­counts to, among oth­ers:

Pule Mabe, per­sonal ac­count: R681 091.08;

Ham­banathi (a com­pany linked to Ramosa) R292 068; and

Shivambu: R30 000.

It is be­lieved the state will ar­gue that none of these pay­ments could be rec­on­ciled with ser­vices de­scribed in the cor­re­spond­ing in­voice.

The pay­ments au­tho­rised by Sassa are said to have been highly ir­reg­u­lar – or il­le­gal – be­cause they grossly flouted the agency’s guide­lines for dis­burse­ments from the RDP fund.

Mabe ’ s phone was turned off and Sun­day World could not lo­cate his lawyer, Vic­tor Nkhwashu.

Let­satsi ’ s lawyer, Zola Ma­javu, said: “My client is ac­cused of writ­ing a memo so­lic­it­ing funds from his em­ployer, hence fraud.” He said the to­tal amount al­leged to have been re­ceived was R2.2-mil­lion “but not all of it has to do with my client”.

“I ad­vised [Let­satsi] to take spe­cial leave from Sassa to pro­tect its rep­u­ta­tion and he did that.” ANC spokesman Keith Khoza said: “The ANC does not wish to comment at this stage save to say that these are al­le­ga­tions that must be tested by a court of law. Once all le­gal is­sues have been con­cluded, the ANC will make a com­pre­hen­sive an­nounce­ment. Pule ap­peared in court and his mat­ter was post­poned to next year.”

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