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IEC Commissioner Nomsa Masuku granted R20 000 bail for scholarship fraud

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Johnathan Paoli

Commissioner of the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) Nomsa Masuku has been granted a R20 000 bail in the Johannesburg Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Palm Ridge, Ekurhuleni on charges of fraud.

Masuku appeared in court on Friday accused of syphoning R1.2 million meant for bursary and scholarship recipients that was deposited into her personal account.

Hawks spokesperson Katlego Mogale said according to the Serious Commercial Crime Investigation (SCCI), the commissioner was previously entrusted with managing a bank’s Corporate Social Investment Programme (CSI).

Mogale said Masuku was the head of the programme for the “Adopt a School Trust” which was established to provide scholarships, bursaries, and awards of study, research or teaching to learner from schools adopted for the programme and for those individuals who qualify and meet the selection criteria to further their studies at any recognized institutions of higher learning.

The investigation established that Masuku flaunted the processes of trust, by awarding scholarships to friends and family members through alleged manipulation of documents and without the committee’s approval, Mogale said.

Masuku started her career in election management in 1998, ending up as deputy chief electoral officer responsible for outreach, and following her seven-year hiatus as an employee at Standard Bank, she was made a commissioner.

Meanwhile the Electoral Commission responded to the arrest of the Commissioner and said will monitor developments.

“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,” IEC said in a brief media statement.

The trial has been postponed to 4 September.

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