Nelson Mandela’s state funeral ‘was hijacked to launder cash’
15 Feb 2021

Prominent members of South Africa’s ruling party are among 15 people facing fraud charges over funds earmarked for Nelson Mandela’s state funeral in 2013.

Sindiswa Gomba, the health minister for Eastern Cape province, Pumlani Mkolo and Zukiswa Ncitha, the chairman and former mayor of Buffalo City, and other members of the African National Congress are accused of laundering up to £500,000 through transport and venues used at the funeral.

The 15 were granted bail on condition that they surrendered their passports and did not communicate with witnesses. They are due in court on March 5.

South Africa declared ten days of mourning after Mandela’s death, culminating in a state funeral attended by world leaders on December 15 in Qunu, Eastern Cape. His estate, worth an estimated £2.2 million, was divided between his family, schools and the ANC.

Claims of fraud emerged the following year but charges were withdrawn. At the time, Mkolo told supporters: “You trusted us as your leaders and we could not disappoint you with what we were accused of. People who think they can stand in our way will never do anything because we trust in our God.”

By Antoaneta Roussi, The Times, 15 February 2021

Read more at The Times

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