The Case against ANC Councillor Bongo Nombiba has been postponed to March 8, 2017.
Nombiba, a councillor for ward 20 in Nelson Mandela Bay is facing charges of fraud and corruption for allegedly pocketing a portion of donation money meant for a non-governmental organisation rendering services to the elderly.
The NGO – Thulamangwane Community Project offers services such as caring for elderly people and cleaning schools in the community.
During his brief appearance in the Port Elizabeth Commercial Crimes Court on Thursday, the court heard that the councillor was approached by the NGO Secretary, Zukiswa Mbhem, and Deputy Chairperson, Mandisa Monco, together with other members, to request a financial donation of R10 000 from the municipality.
After listening to their request, Nombiba instructed the NGO members to put their request in writing but not to mention the amount that they had requested.
As instructed, in September 2014, the NGO submitted its application titled: “Request for Donation”. The application was subsequently signed by both the secretary as well as the deputy chairperson but didn’t contain the amount of money requested.
According to the charge sheet, Nombiba took up the responsibility of getting the financial assistance from the metro and pushed for a donation of R30 000 for the organisation.
In November 2014, the NGO received the R30 000 via its Standard Bank Account. Nombiba allegedly took the NGO members to the bank to confirm the payment. When that was done, he told the organisation that R10 000 belongs to it while R20 000 is for himself. He withdrew R13 000 that day and received the remaining R7 000 two days later.
The charge sheet added: “They went to the Standard Bank in Kempston Road. The accused [Nombiba] conveyed to them that the amount paid into the NGO’s bank account was R30 000. R10 000 was for the NGO and R20 000 was his.”
Nombiba is expected to appear in court again on March 8, when a trial date will be set. He was arrested last month and is out on a warning.
During his appearance on Thursday, the court premises was flooded by a busload of people in ANC regalia. They were holding up placards, singing and chanting the words “hands off our councillor.”
Bongo Nombiba was charged in terms of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act, which means, if convicted, he could face a fine of R100-million or imprisonment not exceeding 30 years.