ANC’s Pule Mabe arrested for fraud

Senior ANC member Pule Mabe was arrested with two others on Friday morning on charges ranging from theft to fraud and money laundering. 

His co-accused are Paseka Letsatsi, head of communications of the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa), and Surprise Kabedi Ramosa, reportedly one of Mabe's business partners.

It is alleged that Letsatsi illegally solicited funds from Sassa, which were then given to companies owned by Mabe and Ramosa.

The three were released on bail of R10 000 each and are due to appear at the high court in Pretoria in February 2014, according to Letsatsi's lawyer Zola Majavu.

Majavu, a prominent Johannesburg lawyer and sports administrator, said his client was accused number 1, and that the charges related to an incident under previous Sassa chief executive Fezile Makiwana during 2008. 

"[Letsatsi] is being charged with fraud, alternatively theft, on the basis that he authored a memo which was authorised by his chief executive at the time and money was paid out to people where it was not supposed to," he told the Mail & Guardian.

Majavu, a former ANC Youth League NEC member and spokesperson, stressed that "whatever is alleged to have happened did so within the scope of his employment [as head of communications]". 

'Fraud and corruption'
Makiwane was dismissed amid allegations of fraud and corruption.

"We don't have the docket yet so we don't know what's in the docket or who the witnesses are," said Majavu. "We were promised the docket on February 13 next year."

Bail was set at R10 000 each as the trio were cooperative, according to Majavu. He added that the bail comes with no conditions, except the accused presenting themselves to court in February. 

Mabe was once a staunch supporter of ousted ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema, and served as treasurer general ?in his leadership.

He turned against Malema when the latter was suspended and eventually expelled by the ruling party, and aligned himself to the ANC. He was appointed to the ANC's national executive council in December 2012 at the party's elective conference in Mangaung.

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