Buffalo City Metro councillor, businesswoman due in court over R1.2m fraud case

ANC councillor Mthetheleli Kolela and Noxolo Tshaka appeared at the East London Magistrates' Court on Tuesday after they were arrested by the Hawks earlier in the day.

Picture: SAPS/facebook.com

JOHANNESBURG — A Buffalo City Metro municipal councillor and a businesswoman are due back in court on Wednesday on charges of fraud and money laundering amounting to R1.2 million.

African National Congress (ANC) councillor Mthetheleli Kolela and Noxolo Tshaka appeared at the East London Magistrates' Court on Tuesday after they were arrested by the Hawks earlier in the day.

They've both been granted bail of R3,000.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said the Buffalo City Municipality usually organised annual events and issued tenders for event management companies who wished to partner with it, to submit proposals.

It said that during the 2019/2020 financial year, Councillor Mthetheleli Kolela was a member of the municipality's sponsorship committee which was in the process of sponsoring a number of events.

One of them was the Phakamisa 40th Anniversary celebrations in December 2019.

The event was to be held to celebrate the establishment of Phakamisa township, outside Gonce.

Following a number of meetings a month earlier, the committee approved funding for the event and awarded it to Sibu's catering and cleaning services, of which Noxolo Tshaka was the sole director.

Several agreements were reached, including that the event would be owned by Tshaka Trading, which owned Sibu's catering.

Kolela and Tshaka are believed to have entered into a deal thereafter.

The NPA said that Tshaka opened a bank account for the sole purpose of receiving money from the municipality and on 13 December 2019, R840,000 was paid into that account. The following day, the money was transferred to another account to which Tshaka was a signatory.

It is alleged that days later, a cash withdrawal of more than R544,0000 was made in favour of Kolela.

Nine days later, the municipality paid a further R360,000 into the account which was opened by Tshaka.

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