DA lays fraud charges against ANC Tshwane leaders over ‘forged’ signatures as council battle continues

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The DA has laid charges of fraud against the leadership of the ANC in Tshwane, accusing them of forging the signatures of at least seven of its own councillors in a bid to hold a special council sitting to hear a motion of no confidence against Stevens Mokgalapa.

The ANC and EFF submitted a letter to council speaker Katlego Mathebe on January 3, requesting that a special council meeting be held to hear a motion of no confidence against the mayor, speaker and chair of chairs.

News24 previously reported that the sitting was not granted by Mathebe because she said she found seven signatures in the ANC caucus document that do not match the signatures in the files of the Council Meetings Attendance Registers.

“The same document also looks like a copy and paste of the signatures that were submitted to support the request of the meeting of 5 December 2019,” Mathebe said in a statement.

On Monday morning, the DA deputy chief whip in Tshwane, Mpho Mehlape-Zimu, laid charges of fraud against the ANC’s chief whip Aaron Maluleka, as well as ANC chairperson in Tshwane, Dr Kgosi Maepa.

Speaking to the media outside the Brooklyn Police Station in Pretoria, Mehlape-Zimu said the DA believed there was evidence of fraud.

“According to our analysis and our own internal investigation, we do accept that there could be a case of fraud where the ANC is alleged to have forged at least seven signatures of their councillors,” Mehlape-Zimu said.

Handwriting expert

She argued that the signatures on the petition sent to the speaker at the beginning of the year did not match the signatures of seven councillors in the council attendance registers signed in 2019.

“When you look at those signatures with the naked eye, you can see that they are incorrect.”

Mehlape-Zimu conceded that they used the services of a handwriting expert to examine the signatures, saying the police should investigate the matter.

“SAPS can mobilise their resources, their handwriting experts and all of that, so that they can put the matter to rest. And if there is a case to be answered to, let those councillors take responsibility because it cannot be accepted that public representatives use such underhanded tactics to try and overturn a government.

“We have been observing their tactics to try and convene a coup in the City of Tshwane to overthrow the DA. If we are overthrown democratically, it happens, life happens, we move on, but we will not allow it to be done with illegal activities.”

Maepa dismissed the allegations, calling it a storm in a teacup. He added that all their councillors signed the petition via their regional offices.

“The DA is alleging that ANC councillors forged ‘their own signatures’ in a petition, but how is that possible? Can a person forge his or her own signature?” Maepa asked.

The ANC and EFF have since submitted another request for a special council sitting, which has been approved by Mathebe and will be held on January 16.

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