R1.1m ‘blown in six weeks’
She was put in a position of trust but instead squandered more than R1m in just six weeks – the money meant to secure a young man’s future after his parents died and left Mary Madaka and her husband as his guardians.
The Port Elizabeth Commercial Crimes Court now has to decide what will happen to Madaka, 50, after she pleaded guilty on charges of theft and money laundering which could see her spending up to 15 years behind bars.
Madaka, a section head in the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality’s assistance to the poor programme, pleaded guilty to the charges earlier this year, in turn vindicating her husband, Mbuyiselo Madaka, who is a DA activist.
The Madakas were made legal guardians of Daniel Jackson Vanqa, 26, after his father died in 2007.
Upon Mxolisi Vanqa’s death a trust was set up to ensure his son attained a level of education his parents had always dreamt of.
But his study plans were dashed when he found the money his father had left him had been stolen by the person meant to look after him.
On Friday during cross examination by Madaka’s legal counsel, Anlen Murray, Vanqa conceded that he had completed his schooling, as was his father’s wishes.
Vanqa said after school he had studied at Russell Road College and had stayed in a flat in Central which he paid for himself with money he received from the rental of a home in Sherwood he had inherited from his parents.
During argumnents in aggravation of sentencing, state prosecutor Ulrike de Klerk said Madaka had spent R1.1 million in six weeks on buying a new home. “It took the asset forfeiture unit to get her to repay [Vanqa].”
Madaka will be sentenced on October 17.
Municipal spokesperson Mthubanzi Mniki said Madaka was still employed by the municipality while the outcome of the court proceedings was awaited.