Who are Sibusiso Sigudla and Bongani Phakathi?

2011-02-19 09:40

Sibusiso Sigudla and Bongani Phakathi may be bitter political rivals, but they both have one thing in common: courting controversy.

Sigudla, a former marketing manager at Govan Mbeki municipality (Secunda), had corruption charges hanging over his head a few years ago.But former executive mayor Mdibanisi Tsheke shielded him and tried to force municipal manager Thabo Mafihla to reinstate him.

The charges against Sigudla disappeared after Mafihla resigned from his post, accepting with a golden handshake.

The main witness against Sigudla, chief finance officer Joshua Ntshuhle, vanished without trace in December 2005, days before he was scheduled to testify against him.

Sigudla is now a Gert Sibande ANC regional executive council member.

In confirmation of his connection to Premier David Mabuza, he told City Press: “Yes, DD (Mabuza) is my friend, but I can’t understand how he gets dragged into this because he’s not involved in the process.”

His rival, Phakathi, was charged with theft, fraud and corruption as Msukaligwa municipality’s corporate services director.

He was eventually fired in 2004.

The municipality laid criminal charges against him, but while he was still on trial in the Ermelo Magistrates Court, he landed a job as parliamentary officer for then roads and transport member of executive council Fish Mahlalela.

Phakathi was acquitted.At that time, Phakathi said: “[Mahlalela] really took a gamble by employing me while I was still facing these charges.

It’s only because he believed in the principle that I’m innocent until proven otherwise.” 

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