Lekota accused of corruption
Johannesburg - A fraud case has been opened against Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota, days after he suspended party treasurer Hilda Ndude for alleged financial mismanagement, the Sunday Times reported.
Western Cape police spokesperson Captain Frederick van Wyk confirmed a case of fraud had been opened.
Congress of the People Western Cape leader Mbulelo Ncedana laid the complaint on Friday, accusing Lekota of corruption and mismanagement.
Lekota was unaware of the case and disputed the allegations.
"The claim is nonsense. When a criminal tricks you, does that make you a criminal?" he was quoted as saying.
Ncedana said while it might be true that Ndude had mismanaged funds, she did so with Lekota, who "was signatory to the very accounts which were mismanaged," reported the newspaper.
The funds in question, according to Ncedana, were given to the party from the Independent Electoral Commission.
The newspaper reported that the allegations against Lekota were made after the party's provincial branch scrutinised Cope's finances following Ndude's suspension.
According to documents Lekota:
- Co-signed a payment of R300 000 into Ndude's personal credit card account in April 2011,
- Had a petrol card with between R5 000 and R13 000 in monthly bills which the party never authorised,
- Received more than R100 000 via transfers from Cope's head office to his personal accounts between May 2010 and December 2011.
Ndude declined to comment when contacted, reported the Sunday Times.
Lekota denied any wrongdoing and defended his expulsion of Ndude. He said Ndude was reported after she had "tricked" both himself and co-signatory Deidre Carter into approving the transfers, into accounts of Ndude's relatives.
Cope spokesperson Buks Mahlangu said the party would deal with the matter if evidence of wrongdoing was presented against Lekota.