Disgraced ANC councillor suspended

Disgraced ANC councillor and convicted fraudster Bongo Nombiba has been suspended from party activities with immediate effect. However, he remains a councillor until the party decides otherwise. ANC Eastern Cape secretary Lulama Ngcukayitobi confirmed Nombiba’s temporary suspension, saying that the Ward 20 councillor also faced disciplinary action. “The ANC provincial working committee received the report on the corruption and fraud verdict against him and, on the seriousness of the said act, decided to temporarily suspend the comrade,” he said. Nombiba was found guilty of fraud and money laundering in the Commercial Crimes Court in Port Elizabeth on Friday after defrauding the municipality of R20 000 from the ward discretionary fund. “The ANC takes [a] very dim view and acts seriously [against] fraud and corruption,” Ngcukayitobi said. “[It’s] worse when committed by those holding public office.”

Ngcukayitobi said this should serve as a warning to all those holding office that the ANC and the provincial leadership would not hesitate to take drastic steps against those involved in similar acts. The provincial secretary said they would meet the ANC caucus in the metro to discuss Nombiba’s role in council. Contacted for comment about his suspension, Nombiba said he was unaware of it. ANC Bay regional secretary Themba Xathula said the Ward 20 councillor would appeal his conviction. Xathula said corruption was a disservice to “our people” and was regressive and counter-revolutionary. “The ANC trusts that the appeal process will be allowed to proceed without any interference or provocation from opposition parties that have already to date exploited the matter as a political victory,” Xathula said. On Sunday, DA chief whip of the council, Werner Senekal, called on the ANC to remove Nombiba from the council, saying that he should be referred to the ethics committee. Council speaker Jonathan Lawack confirmed the matter would be referred to the ethics committee once the Ward 20 councillor had been sentenced on April 26. “Should he be sentenced to 12 months or more without an option of a fine, he becomes ineligible to be a councillor and in that case, the MEC will be required to remove him,” Lawack said.