EFF Mpumalanga leader in court on fraud charge

2017-02-24 20:40
(EFF website)

(EFF website)

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Mbombela – The EFF’s Mpumalanga leader, Collen Sedibe, was released on R1000 bail after appearing in the Nelspruit Magistrate's Court on Friday, police said.

He was arrested earlier in the day and charged with fraud, Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said.

His arrest followed pandemonium ahead of Mpumalanga premier David Mabuza’s state of the province address.

Mpumalanga legislature speaker, Thandi Shongwe, had ordered Sedibe and another EFF MPL, Cyril Chuene to leave the makeshift legislature chamber set up in the provincial government’s parking lot.

Sedibe had objected to the presence of the province’s community safety, security and liaison MEC Pedro Ngomana. He said Ngomana was a Mozambican citizen and not eligible to be a member of the legislature.

“I can’t be in the midst of people who are illegal immigrants here. My safety is of primary concern. What if he kills me? We can’t have someone who is from Mozambique. Is there no parliament in Mozambique?”

He said Ngomana needed to produce a certificate of naturalisation to be able to serve in the legislature.

Shongwe summoned white-shirted security officials to forcefully remove Sedibe and Chuene.

Outside the legislature precinct, police tried to arrest Sedibe. He however insisted on driving himself to the Nelspruit police station where he was charged and appeared briefly in court.

His case was postponed to March 24. It was unclear what the fraud charge related to.

Last month, Sedibe and Chuene appeared in the White River Magistrate’s Court on charges of trespassing, incitement to public violence, and violating the Regulation of Gatherings Act. They were released on R500 bail each. They allegedly encouraged party members to occupy land owned by the Mbombela municipality in Hillsview, near White River.

Ngomana welcomed their arrests.

"We cannot allow any backwardness to prevail with regard to land," he said at the time.

Chuene said the timing of his arrest on Friday is suspicious. On Thursday, he opened criminal cases against Mpumalanga police commissioner Bethuel Zuma for alleged drunken driving, and against Ngomana for allegedly contravening the South African Citizenship Act.

“The police told us that they had been given instructions by the generals to arrest us. They want to silence us because we have reported the police to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate for failing to take action on a variety of corruption cases we reported to them,” Sedibe claimed.

Hlathi said there was nothing suspicious about the timing of Sedibe’s arrest.

“There’s no specific date to be arrested. Even in a church we can arrest you,” he said.

Read more on:    eff  |  mbombela  |  politics

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