13 June 2014

South Africa: Ramphele Opens Fraud Case

Johannesburg — Agang SA leader Mamphela Ramphele has opened a case of fraud with police involving an account opened to get an IEC refund, a spokesman said on Friday.

This follows another fraud case opened at the Centurion police station by the party's chairman Mike Tshishonga for the same reason.

"Mamphela also opened a case to find out who opened this account and how it came to be," Agang SA spokesman Mark Peach told Sapa.

"Mike and Mamphela would both like to know the circumstances around this account."

The "party-political account" was set up to receive a refund from the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) following the May 7 general election.

The refund was believed to be around R200,000.

"Once police investigate then we will know. Mamphela did not open the account," he said, reacting to reports in The New Age.

"We don't know who opened the account, and it's too early to say anything. Until an investigation has happened, we simply don't know."

On Thursday, Peach rejected claims by the newspaper that Tshishonga opened a fraud case against Ramphele.

The newspaper reported on its website that Tshishonga accused Ramphele of having direct access to party funds, and that she opened the bank account to access the IEC deposit without a mandate from the party.

Peach said Tshishonga was the account's documentation.

However, on Friday The New Age reported that Tshishonga opened the case because his signature appeared on the bank account's paperwork without his knowledge.

In a statement, Agang SA's Western Cape spokeswoman Monica Graaff said no suspect was mentioned in the case opened by Tshishonga.

Peach clarified to Sapa that no theft case was opened.

"No theft has occurred. But there would appear to have been the use of a scanned signature to open the account as neither Dr Ramphele nor Tshishonga signed original bank account documents on behalf of the party," he said,

"Essentially this amounts to fraud, but an investigation is required into who opened the account."

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