South Africa: Black Woman: IEC – Independent Electoral Commission: Commissioner Dr Nomsa Masuku arrested for R1.2m fraud, granted bail


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IEC Commissioner Dr Nomsa Masuku appeared in court facing fraud charges relating to R1.2-million that made its way to her account during her previous role at Standard Bank.

Masuku, 62, was formerly the head of the corporate social investment (CSI) programme for the “Adopt-a-School Trust”, an initiative by Standard Bank. This programme was designed to offer scholarships, bursaries and educational awards to students from schools supported by the bank’s “Adopt-a-School” programme, allowing them to pursue higher education at accredited institutions.

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According to the Hawks’ Colonel Katlego Mogale, Masuku is accused of misusing her position to grant scholarships to friends and family members, bypassing the proper selection processes and committee approvals.

Additionally, it’s alleged that some of the funds intended for the scholarships were deposited directly into her personal bank account.

The SCCI’s intensive investigation revealed that Masuku manipulated documents and circumvented trust procedures, leading to unauthorized disbursements totalling R1.2-million.

Charges of fraud in court
Masuku faced charges of fraud in the Palm Ridge Magistrate Court. She appeared before the magistrate court, where the court granted her bail set at R20,000 and postponed her case to 4 September 2024.

The court appearance is likely to draw considerable attention, given her high-profile role in the IEC, which is critical to the country’s democratic processes.

Masuku was active during the election period and often presided over press briefings at the National Results Operation Centre in Midrand.

Career background
Before joining the IEC, Masuku had a distinguished career at Standard Bank where she was responsible for managing the bank’s CSI initiatives. The Adopt A School Trust was a significant part of her portfolio, aimed at uplifting educational opportunities for disadvantaged students. The allegations suggest that she exploited this position to benefit herself and those close to her, undermining the Trust’s objectives.

The arrest of Masuku is a major development, particularly in light of her role in the IEC, an institution that plays a vital part in ensuring the integrity of South Africa’s elections.

IEC responds

In a brief media statement released on Friday afternoon, the IEC said “The Electoral Commission is aware of the reported arrest of Commissioner Dr Nomsa Masuku. It appears that the matter relates to her erstwhile employment and does not relate to her tenure in the Commission both as an employee and commissioner.

The Commission will monitor developments in the matter.”. DM


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