The Pan African Congress has opened a case of fraud and theft against its expelled former president and MP Luthando Mbinda after he diverted more than R700,000 in party funds into Nedbank accounts opened for the specific purpose of defrauding the party.
Mbinda was expelled from the party in June 2017 for bringing the PAC into disrepute.
In terms of Section 47 (3c) the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, Mbinda is required to vacate his seat in Parliament, having been lawfully expelled from the party in terms of the PAC’s internal Constitution. Mbinda refused to participate in the disciplinary proceedings against him, and has refused to vacate his seat in Parliament in violation of the Constitution following his expulsion from the PAC.
Mbinda is now effectively an unlawful squatter in Parliament, aided and abetted by Parliamentary Speaker Baleka Mbete.
An affidavit signed last week by the PAC’s Secretary of Finance, Phumzile Phasha, says the PAC’s bank accounts have at all material times been held at Absa Bank. Phasha has been signatory to all PAC bank accounts at Absa since 2013.
The affidavit states: “On or about the 21st of August 2017, it came under my attention that Mr Luthando Mbinda, the erstwhile and now expelled president of the Pan African Congress of Azania (who’s expulsion took effect on 13 June 2017), had opened at least one bank account at Nedbank. It must be stressed that it is clear from the data provided, that Mr Mbinda opened these accounts after his expulsion.”
The purpose for opening the Nedbank accounts was to divert the PAC’s Parliamentary allowance to an account controlled by Mbinda. He also misled and defrauded party members into paying members’ fees into this account.
The purpose of the Parliamentary allowance is for the settlement of various financial responsibilities, such as rental fees for constituency offices and the payment of salaries for support staff.
On all previous occasions, these Parliamentary allowance were lawfully paid into the PAC’s Absa accounts.
Information received from the SA Police Services indicates that Mbinda opened the Nedbank accounts with co-signatories being: Gcobani Katiya, who purported to be secretary of the PAC; and Edward Mfulwane, who purported to be the PAC’s treasurer. Neither of these people were elected to these positions by the party, and are therefore imposters and co-conspirators in the fraud.
We argue that the fraud has been enabled by Parliamentary Speaker Baleka Mbete. Mr Mbinda has been attempting to sow confusion by claiming that he is the legitimate PAC, and appears to have convinced Mbete that his fraud is somehow legitimate. This potentially makes her an accomplice to theft and fraud, and the only logical conclusion we in the PAC can reach is that this is a deliberate attempt to delegitimise the PAC as a liberation movement.”
We have alerted the police and we expect them to follow up this crime with speed and diligence, without political interference, and to bring the culprits to book. We will also be bringing the theft and fraud to the attention of the Auditor-General.”
A total of R664,671 was diverted by Mbinda to the fraudulently opened Nedbank accounts from the PAC’s Parliamentary allowance in the six months to 5 February 2018.
A further R67,632 was deposited into another Nedbank account controlled by Mbinda. The funds were then withdrawn through ATMs. None of these funds found their way to the PAC.
It is clear that Mr Mbinda, as well as Mr Katiya, and Mr Mfulwane, opened the said accounts at Nedbank under fraudulent and misleading names and titles in order to defraud, prejudice and mislead the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa, the PAC and specifically members of the PAC,” says Phasha’s affidavit.
PAC says that the Parliament and Mbete have been notified that their unlawful actions will no longer be tolerated. “Let’s be very clear here: Parliament and Mbete are aiding and abetting criminals and fraudsters. The onus of proof is on Parliament to prove that any transaction is authorised by the party. It has not done so. Mbete cannot take refuge in the confusion Mbinda has attempted to sow as to who are the legitimate representatives of the PAC. He is expelled from the PAC and is an illegitimate squatter in Parliament, as well as a common fraudster and thief. It is time for the police to arrest him for his crimes.