Acting city boss’s arrest unlawful — United Front
While his party the United Front branded acting Nelson Mandela Bay city boss Mvuleni Mapu’s arrest early on Friday unlawful, others cheered on his appearance in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court.
Mapu, a director in the municipal human settlements department, and businesswoman Bulelwa Mkwakwi Ntanga were arrested on charges of fraud and corruption related to a housing tender worth R12.8m.
United Front regional chair Xolisile Peter said the arrest was unlawful and that Mapu was the last man standing against rampant corruption in the city.
Mapu is a regional executive member of the United Front.
“The corruption brigade is hell-bent on laying their dirty hands on the resources of our municipality,” Peter said.
“They have failed to remove Mapu through legal means and are resorting to their favourite partner in crime, the Hawks, in removing our comrade from the office.
“The instruction has always been very clear from Bhisho ... sign the cheques to our comrades and don’t ask questions.
“Mapu is no push-over and now Bhisho can’t take it any more.
“The PPE [personal protective equipment] corruption frenzy is running out and the corruption locusts can’t wait any more.
“We shall defend our comrade in court and in the council,” Peter said.
Eastern Cape premier Oscar Mabuyane called on people with information of any wrongdoing and corruption relating to the case to come forward.
Mabuyane’s spokesperson, Mvusiwekhaya Sicwetsha, said the provincial government would monitor the progress of the case going forward.
“The arrests are in line with the provincial government’s call for people with real information about wrongdoing and corruption to report it to the law enforcement agencies so that, based on the strength of that information, action can be taken against those accused of wrongdoing and corruption.
“Now that these arrests have been effected by the Hawks, those accused of wrongdoing and corruption have an opportunity to respond to each of the accusations against them in the court of law.
“Given the importance of these allegations, we call on anyone with real information about wrongdoing and corruption pertaining to the matters that necessitated the Hawks to effect these arrests to share that information with the Hawks,” Sicwetsha said.
DA provincial leader and councillor in the Bay, Nqaba Bhanga, said Friday’s arrest supported the party’s allegation that Mapu was corrupt.
Bhanga said the DA’s sustained pressure over years had proven to be a contributing factor to Mapu’s downfall.
“We believe that this is just the beginning of his troubles.
“Under the DA-led government, numerous allegations of corruption led to Mapu’s suspension as director of housing delivery.”
Acting mayor Thsonono Buyeye, who appointed Mapu as acting city manager, said he was aware of the arrest.
“However, I have no knowledge about the allegations levelled against him, save those raised in the media.
“In this regard, I have instructed that an internal investigation take place in order to establish the background to the allegations,” Buyeye said.
Mapu returned to work in March 2019 after being on suspension for more than three years.
He was suspended in September 2015 for misconduct after he allegedly authorised the construction of houses at Rosedale and Wells Estate prior to a funding agreement in place with the Eastern Cape department of human settlements.
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