Theft of R200m from Popcru’s investment arm behind union infighting, court hears
In court documents, recently fired Popcru general secretary Nkosinathi Theledi said that he was targeted for speaking out about Popcru president Zizamele Makhaza’s actions affecting the investment firm, PGC.
JOHANNESBURG - The alleged theft of R200 million from the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union’s (Popcru) investment arm appeared to be at the root of ongoing battles among its leaders.
In court documents, recently fired Popcru general secretary Nkosinathi Theledi - who is fighting to get his job back – said that he was targeted for speaking out about Popcru president Zizamele Makhaza’s actions affecting the investment firm, Popcru Group of Companies (PGC).
Earlier this year, it was reported that R200 million from PGC was channeled into a company called PGC Management Services (PGCMS), which had Makhaza (formerly Cebekhulu), among others, as trustees.
However, since the transfer, the monies are now untraceable.
Theledi claimed in court papers that some within Popcru were so eager to get rid of him that they even hired two women to claim he raped and sexually harassed them.
In November 2019, the Hawks arrested the CEO of Popcru’s investment arm, Zwelinkosi Mdletshe, after he was allegedly linked to a plot to kidnap and murder the union’s office bearers to cover up corruption at PGC.
The Hawks then said that its investigations revealed there was the misappropriation of funds that was carried out through the PGC with substantial monies embezzled since 2016.
It was alleged that Mdletshe was also linked to the disappearance of R100 million from the investment arm.
The PGC was founded to generate and invest financial capital on behalf of the 160,000 Popcru members. But, it had been a bone of contention among leaders over the years as it grew in value, as with other Cosatu affiliates, including the Chemical, Energy, Paper, Printing, Wood and Allied Workers; Union (Ceppwawu).
The PGC owns the luxurious Shishangeni Private Game Lodge in the Kruger National Park and insurance and financial services company Workerslife, among others.