/ 29 December 2014

ANC official Yolanda Botha dies

ANC official Yolanda Botha
ANC official Yolanda Botha

Fraud and corruption accused senior Northern Cape ANC official Yolanda Botha, who served in Parliament’s social development portfolio committee, has died.

She died at the new Gariep Medi-Clinic in Kimberley on Sunday after having been diagnosed with metastatic melanoma, a skin cancer, which spread to her brain.

Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini said on Monday Botha was a “committed servant who dedicated her life to serving the people of South Africa”. She made a notable contribution towards building a caring society through her oversight work.

“Her deep understanding of the plight of the poor and her unwavering desire to play a role in achieving an equal society and eliminating poverty will be sorely missed by those who have worked with her,” Dlamini said in a statement.

Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson sent condolences to Botha’s family, friends and colleagues. The department said the minister recently visited Botha’s family in Kimberley. 

“With her passing, ANC is in mourning, we salute a courageous and meticulous warrior and community activist who served her organisation with every fibre of her being,” the department said in a statement.

Corruption, fraud charges
Botha, Trifecta director Christo Scholtz, and senior African National Congress leaders John Block and Alvin Botes face charges of fraud, corruption, and money laundering related to leases for government buildings. 

The National Prosecuting Authority alleges the Trifecta group of companies entered into a number of agreements with Northern Cape government departments in which rentals or rental space were grossly inflated.

All the accused had pleaded not guilty to the charges against them or their companies.

In November, the Northern Cape High Court sought a second opinion on Botha’s health after her doctor, Theodorus Smallburger, told the court she was terminally ill, SABC news reported at the time. 

The court heard Botha had skin cancer. Smallburger testified that Botha had developed lesions in her brain, which would affect her long-term memory. 

According to the report, Smallburger told the court patients with this condition were not expected to live long. The matter was postponed to February 9, SABC news reported. – Sapa