ANC MP accused of swindling businessman out of R500k under investigation – report_1

An ANC MP who allegedly swindled a businessperson out of R500 000 that she said would be donated to the ANC for its 2014 general elections campaign is reportedly under investigation.

In a report published by City Press, the party was alerted to the MP identified as Bernice Swarts’s misconduct after questions were raised about President Cyril Ramaphosa’s CR17 campaign.

The same questions that led to Public Protector Busi Mkhwebane having to launch an investigation into the donation after it became known that now-deceased Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson donated R500 000 to the campaign.

It was found that Swarts allegedly received R16 million from an account linked to the campaign to mobilise support in Mpumalanga.

Speaking to the publication, the businessman in question Tuwani Mulaudzi said Swarts received the R500 000 from him in 2013, six years before she became an MP and he now alleges that the money did not reach the ANC.

Furthermore, Mulaudzi claims he demanded that she repay him when he found this out and she refused before disappearing without trace.

Swarts reportedly solicited the donation from him after meeting with him and an acquaintance of hers named Andile Mbeki at Waterkloof Ridge in Pretoria. According to City Press, Mbeki is a former chief executive officer of the Gauteng Film Commission.

Upon finding out that Swarts was announced as an MP in May following the 2019 elections, he reported the matter to National Assembly speaker Thandi Modise, who referred it to ANC chief whip Pemmy Majodina. He also informed ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile and secretary-general Ace Magashule.

The businessman listed all the avenues he turned to in an effort to recoup his funds including hiring bouncers and debt collectors in addition to turning to the police who claimed they did not know her whereabouts.

He showed the publication the last message he received from Swarts in March 2017, which was a vulgar series of insults.

“Jou ma se groot g&%!!t, f#$%n n$#!!r (Your mother’s big a#4!!s, f$%!! a***e). You must go get bored somewhere else whoever you are bloody motherf#@!!r.”

While Swarts did not respond to questions sent to her parliamentary email address and WhatsApp, or voice messages by the publication, Majodina said that she was seeking legal advice about the businessman’s claims which she has been investigating for over a year.

The case has not yet been referred to Parliament’s ethics committee, however.

(Compiled by Kaunda Selisho)

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