Fraud-accused Matlosana CFO back in court on April 30

Corruption accused Matlosana district municiplaity CFO Mercy Phetla and her two co-accused are expected back in court on April 30. The trio are facing charges of corruption relating to a tender award. Picture: Supplied.

Corruption accused Matlosana district municiplaity CFO Mercy Phetla and her two co-accused are expected back in court on April 30. The trio are facing charges of corruption relating to a tender award. Picture: Supplied.

Published Mar 30, 2024


CORRUPTION accused Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the City of Matlosana Mercy Phetla, and her two co-accused, are expected back in court on April 30 after the Klerksdorp commercial crimes court postponed the matter on Wednesday.

Phetla, 38, and two employees of GMHM Construction, Matshepiso Mothelesane, 39, and Nomthandazo Mokasule, 49, are facing corruption charges after it emerged that Phetla received a bribe in the form of a car worth R1.4 million in exchange for a service delivery tender from GMHM Construction and Projects, a company conducting business with the municipality.

After their arrest on January 17, the trio were released the following day on R35 000 bail each.

The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) Warrant Officer Amogelang Walatse told Sunday Independent that the trio would be back in the dock next month.

“The case appeared at the Klerksdorp Commercial Crimes Court, but the matter was postponed to April 30, 2024, pending the outcome of representation by the defence,” said Walatse.

GMHM Construction and Projects was appointed by the Matlosana District municipality in 2021 to supply and transport paraffin to indigent households in the rural and un-electrified areas of the municipality for three years.

According to the Hawks, Phetla received a VW Amarok bakkie from GMHM Construction and Projects employees in June 2023.

This gift was allegedly in exchange for the service delivery tenders that she gave to the company.

The same company, GMHM, also paid for Phetla’s bail application following her arrest.

In the bail receipt seen by the Sunday Independent, it emerged that the person who paid for Phetla’s bail was Masego Mokasule (23), the son of Phetla’s co-accused number three Nomthandazo Mokasule, who is alleged to have paid millions to Phetla in exchange for tenders in the Matlosana municipality.

Proof of receipt of bail payment for Mercy Phetla by the service provider who allegedly bribed her with R1.4 million. Image: Supplied

At the time, Sunday Independent asked Phetla to disclose who had paid for her bail application and why the name of the son of her co-accused appeared on the receipt, but Phetla denied it was the son of the accused and said it was a friend.

“I cannot disclose to you who paid for my bail because that would be an invasion of my privacy. You can go on writing whatever you like but I will never disclose the name of my friend,” she said.

Despite the charges faced by Phetla, the Matlosana council, which is led by the ANC, has not taken action against Phetla who has publicly stated that she was more powerful than the ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula.

Hours before Phetla was arrested and charged for corruption, she posted on her WhatsApp status, boasting about how powerful she was.

“I am even powerful than Mbalula (Mr 10%) nna ke (I am) Ms 15%,” Phetla posted on her WhatsApp status.

Mercy Phetla claimed on her WhatsApp status to be more powerful than Mbalula. She posted before handing herself to the police.

In February, Fezile Canga, the SACP spokesperson in the district called for the removal of Phetla.

He said in a statement: “As the SACP, we are of the view that corruption should be rooted out and defeated in all forms, as it sets us back from the gains of democracy. The working class and the poor are at the end-point of this corruption.

“The party noted that the accused had handed themselves in after an investigation into the alleged purchase of a VW Amarok by GMHM for the CFO, who had failed “to declare it before the employer as it supposed to be according to Schedule 2: Code of Conduct for Municipal Staff Members in section 5 (1) of Municipal Systems Act (Act 117 of 1998).

The party called on the municipal council to suspend the CFO to ensure that the investigation runs smoothly without intimidation: “We further reiterate our support to all stakeholders that have called for the suspension, and that the CFO be given space to deal with all charges facing her.”

Among other allegations faced by Phetla, sources within the municipality said that she was feared by many because she had powerful people within the North West, ensuring that she was protected from accountability.