DA councillor in R3m fraud avoids prison

A DA councillor was sentenced to 10 years for fraud.
A DA councillor was sentenced to 10 years for fraud.

A former Cape Town DA councillor convicted of R3-million fraud for giving a bogus appointment letter to a developer to build RDP homes has been spared jail.

Wilma Brady was found guilty in the Bellville Commercial Crimes Court in July. Eric Ntabazalila‚ spokesman for the prosecution in the Western Cape‚ said she was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment on Tuesday.

“The sentence was wholly suspended for five years on condition that she not commit fraud or theft‚” he said.

Brady was also sentenced to 24 months’ correctional supervision and a R10 000 fine for contravening the Public Finance Management Act.

According to court documents‚ Brady unlawfully entered into a contract with Lelethu‚ a construction company‚ which purported to bind the provincial government financially.

She chaired the city’s Oostenberg sub-council in 2006 when she claimed to represent the provincial housing department in a letter to a representative of the developer‚ Faizel Davids. In the letter‚ she purported to appoint the company for the construction of 33 RDP houses in Malibu Village‚ Blue Downs.

“It is further confirmed that I‚ Wilma Brady‚ chairperson: Oostenberg Subcouncil 21‚ on behalf of the provincial housing department‚ appointed Lelethu Properties & Development to develop the serviced land as set out above‚” the letter read in part.

According to the prosecution‚ Brady misrepresented to the company that she could select private developers to build houses and allocate land. She also used Premier Helen Zille’s name to dupe the company into believing she had the authority to appoint it.

Tommy Beukes‚ an architect tasked by Davids to present the company’s plans to Brady‚ testified that she indicated she “preferred a tiled roof instead of a corrugated roof and a proper bathroom‚ which was not found in an RDP house”.

Court documents said: “When [Beukes] gave the plans to [Brady]‚ she telephoned him afterwards and mentioned that the plans were not drafted according to what they previously discussed.

“She stated that she could not present those plans to Mrs Helen Zille. When asked about the processes [Brady] discussed with them prior to any building works‚ she indicated that she would talk to people in government and report back to them. The finances were not yet organised at the time.”

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