Home South African IEC commissioner in dock on fraud charges

IEC commissioner in dock on fraud charges

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The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC)’s deputy chairperson, commissioner Dr Nomsa Masuku, is still leading the organisation despite a black cloud of corruption hanging over her head.

IEC Commissioner Dr Nomsa Masuku was arrested on charges of fraud after she allegedly mishandled funds meant for underprivileged learners. Picture: IEC

THE ELECTORAL Commission of South Africa (IEC)’s deputy chairperson, commissioner Dr Nomsa Masuku, is still leading the organisation despite a black cloud of corruption hanging over her head.

Masuku, 62, was charged with corruption involving R1.2 million meant for underprivileged learners.

She appeared on fraud-related charges in the Johannesburg Specialised Commercial Crimes Court, sitting in Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court, on Friday.

The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) said it took investigators close to 10 years to effect an arrest in the fraud case implicating Masuku.

The commission said it was aware of Masuku’s arrest.

IEC spokesperson Kate Bapela said: “The IEC is aware of the reported arrest of commissioner Dr Nomsa Masuku. It appears that the matter relates to her erstwhile employment and does not relate to her tenure in the commission, both as an employee and commissioner. The commission will monitor developments in the matter.”

Asked whether any steps, such as a suspension, would be taken against Masuku, Bapela said: “We understand our law as saying until proven guilty. Any other developments will be communicated.”

Masuku was arrested on Friday morning and was granted bail of R20,000.

The court postponed her case to September 4.

Masuku, a former Standard Bank employee and current IEC official, was the head of the corporate social investment (CSI) programme for the “Adopt A School Trust” which was established to provide scholarships, bursaries and awards of study, research or teaching to learners from schools adopted by Standard Bank’s “Adopt a School” programme. The programme is for those individuals who qualify and meet the selection criteria to further their studies at any recognised institutions of higher learning.

Hawks spokesperson Colonel Katlego Mogale said Masuku was entrusted with managing the CSI programme during her tenure at Standard Bank.

Mogale said: “Through an intensive probe, the Hawks investigators established that the incumbent flaunted the processes of the trust by awarding scholarships to friends and family members through the manipulation of documents and without the approval of the committee, with some of the monies deposited directly into her personal bank account to the tune of R1.2 million.”

NPA Gauteng spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said Masuku allegedly transferred a sum of R800,000 to a second individual implicated in the case.

“The State alleges that she illicitly awarded bursaries worth R400,000 to ineligible recipients, including family members and friends, said Mjonondwane.

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