Soshanguve ward councillor accused of fraud, corruption

2015-09-28 09:04
Prudence Seakhela (News24)

Prudence Seakhela (News24)

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Pretoria - A Soshanguve ward councillor has been accused of fraud and corruption following disputes over stands in the area.

Ward 37 councillor Sphiwe Montla has allegedly been selling stands illegally in the ward. A complainant, Prudence Seakhela, claimed she was kicked from her stand by the local committee at the instruction of the councillor, and another person was given her stand.

Montla has since refuted the claims through the municipality's spokesperson, and raised his suspicion that this is part of a smear campaign.

“I was given my stand along with the allocation papers by the department of housing. I then went to the municipality for allocation of services, but then our councillor told us that he would be bringing more people to live with us in our yards,” Seakhela claimed.

Instruction

Shortly after the people had moved into the yards, with two families now sharing a single stand, Seakhela claimed there was an instruction from Montla to say people should move to the back of the main stands.

“He told us that those who had made double occupation should move to the back. I did and shortly after, there was an announcement that there would be RDPs [low cost housing] built. We were then told that those who had moved out of the main stands to the back would have to relocate to Extension 19,” said Seakhela.

“I had my shack in the stand and I refused to move to Extension 19. I told them to remove the person who they had put in and he [Montla] said I should move and not the person.”

Seakhela's fight for the land resulted in a case being opened at the Akasia police station against Montla in 2013, but she said the process appeared to be futile. Since opening the case, she said they had never been to court but someone had tried to kill her.

“After opening the case, someone tried to run me over with a car,” she said.

Living in fear

Seakhela said she had been living in fear since the incident as a lot of unexplainable things had occurred. She claimed people even burnt tyres in front of her house in a bid "to frighten" her. She said she was once subpoenaed to court regarding the matter but she never set foot in a courtroom and the matter was thrown out without any explanation given to her.

Earlier in September, she went back to the Akasia police station to have the matter reinstated, following more acts of alleged intimidation.

Seakhela told News24 that on the very same evening she received a call from a private number, with the person pretending to be a police officer asking her not to go through with the case.

“The person said I should rather speak to the councillor instead of going the legal route. He refused to identify himself and asked if I was home so that they could come to my house. I hung up the phone fearing for my life,” she said.

Attempts to get a comment from Montla were unsuccessful, with his phone constantly off and no response to an SMS sent to him.

City of Tshwane spokesperson Lindela Mashigo, however, said the councillor refuted the claims.

“On the issue of selling stands, the councillor suspected a possible smear campaign as he is not responsible for stands and allocation thereof - this is solely an administrative function. His role is that of oversight. A statement has been presented to Akasia police station by the councillor,” said Mashigo.

Read more on:    pretoria  |  corruption  |  housing  |  land

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