Battle for Tshwane: ANC dismisses DA's fraud charges over 'forged' signatures

2020-01-13 18:48
Dr. Kgosi Maepa. (Photo: Deaan Vivier)

Dr. Kgosi Maepa. (Photo: Deaan Vivier)

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The ANC in Tshwane has rubbished criminal charges laid against them by the DA, in relation to allegations of forging the signatures of at least seven of its own councillors in a bid to hold a special council sitting.

On Monday morning, the DA deputy chief whip in Tshwane, Mpho Mehlape-Zimu, laid charges of fraud against the ANC chief whip Aaron Maluleka, as well as ANC chairperson in Tshwane Dr Kgosi Maepa.

Speaking to the media outside the Brooklyn Police Station in Pretoria, Mehlape-Zimu said the DA believed there was evidence of fraud.

READ: DA lays fraud charges against ANC Tshwane leaders over 'forged' signatures as council battle continues

"According to our analysis and our own internal investigation, we do accept that there could be a case of fraud where the ANC is alleged to have forged at least seven signatures of their councillors," Mehlape-Zimu said.

These charges emanate from a letter, accompanied by a petition that was sent to council Speaker Katlego Mathebe on January 3, requesting that a special council meeting be held to hear a motion of no confidence against the mayor, speaker and chair of chairs.

News24 previously reported that the sitting was not granted by Mathebe because she said she found seven signatures in the ANC caucus document that did not match the signatures in the files of the Council Meetings Attendance Registers.

"The same document also looks like a copy and paste of the signatures that were submitted to support the request of the meeting of 5 December 2019," Mathebe said in a statement.

ALSO MORE: Bid to oust DA's Stevens Mokgalapa as Tshwane mayor deepens

Mehlape-Zimu conceded that they did not use the services of a handwriting expert to examine the signatures, explaining that it would be up to police to use resources to determine whether the signatures were forged.

Maepa has hit out at the DA, calling the criminal charges bizarre and denying outright that certain ANC councillors' signatures were forged.

Maepa also argued that Mehlape-Zimu had no locus standi to open a case of fraud as she was not the victim.

"None of the ANC councillors whose signatures are forged, laid a complaint with the police; if indeed there are forged signatures of ANC councillors, those councillors affected must be the ones to complain and lay charges, not the DA," Maepa said.

"Her [Mehlape-Zimu] signature was not forged, she cannot be a complainant in a court of law."

He added that it was the speaker, Mathebe, who said the signatures did not match, so she would be the rightful person to complain. He also questioned why Mathebe did not contact the councillors whose signatures were allegedly forged.

"The actions of the DA in Tshwane are a clear indication that the DA has now officially run out of ideas and negative things to say about the ANC. The DA has forgotten that they are still government until Thursday, and they should continue providing services instead of creating 'storms in a teacup'."

The ANC and EFF have since submitted another request for a special council sitting, which has been approved by Mathebe and will be held on January 16.

In a letter addressed to Mathebe dated January 13, the EFF requested that acting City Manager Makgorometje Makgata presides over an item on the meeting agenda at the special meeting, which will be dealing with motions of no confidence against the speaker, acting speaker, chair of chairs as well as the executive mayor.

"The speaker, acting speaker and chair of chairs cannot preside over item D of the agenda above during the special council meeting scheduled for 16 January 2020, because they are all conflicted [i.e: All of them are facing motions of no confidence]," the party's caucus leader Oliver Mabogwana said in the letter.

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  tshwane  |  politics
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