Polokwane Ward 8 municipal councillor Tebogo Mojapelo was granted bail of R1 000 in the Polokwane Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday and the case against her was postponed to 14 December. A condition that Mojapelo shall not have any contact with witnesses for the state, was attached.
Mojapelo was arrested on a charge of corruption after the Police received a tip-off and reportedly caught her red-handed last Tuesday afternoon. Information was received that a municipal councillor was allegedly soliciting bribes from job seekers and Mojapelo was nabbed after she allegedly received a bribe of
R2 000 from an undercover Police member earlier that afternoon.
Before the court proceedings on Tuesday, members of the Democratic Alliance (DA) and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) picketed outside the court in two separate groups. The DA’s banners did not refer to Mojapelo as such, but merely condemned corruption. The EFF banner read: “Tebogo must fall”.
Earlier this week, EFF Limpopo Leader Ronny Malema said in a media release that the EFF Polokwane caucus condemned the African National Congress’ (ANC) corrupt activities with the contempt it deserves. “The EFF in Polokwane Municipality wishes to make it clear that it will not be business as usual. The caucus will not allow council to be seen as harbouring hard core criminals,” Malema said. He added that the EFF caucus commended the judiciary for doing a sterling job by denying Mojapelo bail.
“She must remain in custody. We further alert those involved in shoddy corrupt arrangements to come forward before it is too late,” Malema said.
Outside court, DA councillor in Polokwane Municipality Khetan Vallabh said that the DA’s objective with the picket was to stand united against corruption.
“It is not acceptable that innocent job seekers are charged a fee for jobs that they are entitled to.
We as councillors are bound to a code of conduct in the Municipal Systems Act and should not abuse our powers. We call for Mojapelo’s immediate suspension,” Vallabh said.
During April this year, Polokwane Observer reported that Mojapelo was arrested on a charge of corruption after she allegedly accepted a bribe from an illegal immigrant while she was operating as a police reservist and, during June 2011 also reported that Mojapelo had been arrested and charged for murder, arson, assault and incitement to public violence following xenophobic attacks in Seshego.
At the time of going to print, Limpopo Hawks Spokesperson Matimba Maluleke was unable to comment on the outcome of the cases but undertook to revert with information.
Story, photos & video: BARRY VILJOEN