Cope youth league charges Lekota

2010-11-08 09:13

Johannesburg - Cope's youth league on Sunday opened a case of corruption and fraud against top Cope officials, including the party's acting president, Mosiuoa Lekota.

Cope youth secretary Malusi Booi laid charges at Lyttleton police station in Centurion against Lekota, Cope treasurer Hilda Ndude, and Cope parliamentary whips Juli Kilian and Dennis Bloem, "due to their involvement in the R5m saga".

According to Booi, Kilian and Bloem authorised and signed for the transfer of taxpayers' money into Cope's account. He alleges Lekota and Ndude "received and spent" the money.

"The National Steering Committee on Sunday decided to lay corruption and fraud charges, since these are serious irregularities and transgressions," Booi said.

Forensic audit

This comes after Mbhazima Shilowa said he was considering legal action because a provisional forensic audit of Cope's finances by KPMG holds him responsible for the misuse of over R5m in parliamentary funds.

This amount is a quarter of the R20m in parliamentary money that Cope received.

According to the report, certain amounts were not spent according to the policy regarding party political allowances.

This includes R5m paid to Cope for travel, accommodation, conference, catering and administrative costs, which was used to pay pre-election debt instead.

As accounting officer, Shilowa is held responsible for these administrative irregularities.

However Booi, a Shilowa supporter, is also involved. According to the KPMG report, a transaction whereby R580 400 was paid to C-yoyo, Booi's own company, is being questioned.

Signature forged

According to the KPMG report, Bloem's signature approving the payments was forged.

In an ongoing battle for leadership between Shilowa and Lekota, Shilowa was last month dismissed as the party's chief whip and accounting officer, after allegations regarding the misappropriation of allowances emerged.

Phillip Dexter, Cope spokesperson, on Sunday called Booi's legal action ridiculous.

"It's a desperate act by a desperate man," he said.