Sentencing of former treasurer a victory against corruption - Cope

2015-12-01 22:40

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Johannesburg - The sentencing of Congress of the People's (Cope) former treasurer and her personal assistant for fraud and corruption amounting to millions was a victory for the party's fight against corruption, it said on Tuesday.

Cope spokesperson Dennis Bloem said the party had welcomed the court's decision.

The party had laid charges against Hilda Ndude and her personal assistant, Irene Motha, in 2013 after noticing that their books were not balancing.

"We realised at a very late stage when things were already very deep. She was the treasurer and she worked with the funds. This thing started in the beginning of 2013. In the middle of 2013 we realised that something was wrong in our books."

He said Ndude had swindled more than R2m from the party's coffers and the organisation decided a disciplinary hearing would not be enough to deal with the matter.

"We had evidence, it was not necessary to have a disciplinary hearing. We felt it was a criminal act, it was plain criminality [so] we opened a case of corruption and fraud."

The two women pleaded guilty to the charges and were sentenced at the Bellville Commercial Crimes Court on Monday November 30.

Ndude was sentenced to eight years. She would serve three years under house arrest, while the other five years were suspended, Bloem said.

Part of the deal was that Ndude would pay back the money that she had stolen.

Bloem said the party's leader, Mosioua Lekota, was also satisfied that justice had taken its course.

"We as Cope have set an example. We have not covered up because it is one of us. It has rather strengthened the image of the party.

"Our president is very harsh when it comes to corruption. He hates corruption like a cancer.

"It was us as Cope who laid charges against one of our own. Since the formation of COPE we preach that we will never allow corruption within our midst."

Read more on:    cope  |  dennis bloem  |  corruption

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