South Africa News

Ex-North West finance MEC in court for fraud

The fraud trial against former North West finance MEC Wendy Nelson and former head of Department of Health Dr Andrew Lekalakala was postponed at the North West High Court, in Mmabatho, on Wednesday, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said.

NPA spokesperson Henry Mamothame said the matter was postponed to September 29 for closing arguments.

“Judge Ronald Hendricks ordered both the State and the accused’s legal representatives to submit written oral submissions prior to the set date. This, he said, will shorten the time of closing arguments, when the matter returns to court,” Mamothame said.

Nelson and Lekalakala are facing a charge of fraud, related to the appointment of Lekalakala to the position of superintendent-general, in the Department of Health, in 2014, where Nelson was chairing the panel during the interview.

It was alleged Lekalakala, who is a medical doctor, lied about his qualifications and did not qualify for the position.

“At the time this interview was conducted, it is alleged that Nelson had knowledge of Lekalakala’s misrepresentation in his CV, but went on to recommend him for this senior position. She also allegedly failed to disclose the misrepresentation to the then Premier of the province, Supra Mahumapelo,” said Mamothame.

The fraud was valued at about R8 million, which Lekalakala received as remuneration as superintendent-general, at the Department of Health.

Nelson was arrested in Mahikeng, on August 23, in 2019, by the Serious Commercial Crime Unit of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks), pertaining to allegations of the irregular appointment of Lekalakala.

Thabo Lekalakala handed himself to the Hawks on August 26, in 2019, facing a charge of fraud relating to his appointment.

The two are out on a R20 000 bail each.

Mamothame said the State was ready to proceed with the closing arguments and would also make the submissions, as ordered by the judge.


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