Ruskin Nkondo (left) a member of the city of Joburg anti-corruption unit, Group Forensic and Investigation Services Advocate Nombulelo Mahanjana (right). FILE PHOTO: Supplied

Lead South Africa

EXCLUSIVE: Top City of Joburg Officials in Extortion Scandal

Steven Motale

JOHANNESBURG- Rogue top officials of the City of Joburg have been extorting money and other valuables from Angolan-born, South African based “Blesser” Serge Cabonge after they allegedly got his wife a job in the City of Joburg.

The two officials, Advocate Nombulelo Mahanjana and Ruskin Nkondo are members of the city’s anti-corruption unit, Group Forensic and Investigation Services (GFIS) headed by former Gauteng Hawks head Shadrack Sibiya. Cabonge told Africa News 24-7 that he now lives in fear after he received death threats from anonymous callers who warned him to leave Nkondo alone as he was a member of Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) who has sacrificed a lot for the country.

Cabonge said his troubles started after his South African wife of nine years Zimasa Dangwana asked him to take her CV to Mahanjana to help her secure a job in the City of Joburg. Dangwana had been unemployed for about a year after she was sacked for gross misconduct by the Road Accident Fund (RAF). Cabonge said Mahanjana then introduced him To Nkondo, saying Nkondo would be the one who will process his wife’s CV with the employment agency. Cabonge said he developed a friendship with Nkondo. Cabonge said the extortion started while the CV was apparently being processed and continued after his partner got employed at the City of Joburg Property.

Africa News 24-7 is in possession of WhatsApp messages between Cabonge and Mahanjana that show how she persistently demanded money, clothes, shoes, handbags and a cellphone from Cabonge, all of which she received. Mahanjana, who is the unit’s Director of Criminal Prosecutions even demanded a pair of shoes for her son.

In another message, she sent Cabonge’s wife her Capitec account number, saying it was safer. “NP Mahanjana Capitec it’s mine…. No big deal, ayithethisi tu” She implied the bank account was trouble free and wouldn’t be traceable. Dangwana then forwarded the banking details to Cabonge urging him to deposit money into Mahanjana’s account.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In a message to Cabonge, Dangwana wrote: “Did you put the money for her, she’s sulking.” Cabonge responded by sending his partner an atm deposit slip as proof that he had deposited money into the account in question. Cabonge said he lost count of how many occasions he gave Mahanjana money, through e-wallet, cash and even bank deposits. In another message after Cabonge had returned from an overseas trip, Mahanjana urged him to drop the cellphone with the security at her work. When Cabonge said he was in Pretoria, Mahanjana requested him to leave the phone, Samsung Note 4 with her sister Tamara or her son, both of who were in Pretoria. She even gave Cabonge Tamara’s phone number.

While Mahanjana was milking Cabonge cash and other valuables, messages between her and Cabonge’s wife show that she was busy urging Dangwana to dump Cabonge and walk out of their home. The couple were staying with their 7-year-old daughter and two more kids of Dangwana and Dangwana’s sister’s son. In one of the messages to Dangwana, Mahanjana urged her to dump Cabonge. Dangwana responded, saying she would move out of their home in January. Mahanjana responded, saying that moving out would help Dangwana a lot.

In an audio recording, which Africa News 24-7 is in possession of, Cabonge and his wife can be heard having a heated argument in which Dangwana demands to know why she had to beg Mahanjana and give her money every day. She also asked if Cabonge was sleeping with Mahanjana. “If you sleep with Nombulelo, I will never sleep with you again,” Dangwana threatened her man.

Nkondo, who is the unit’s Deputy Director of Minimum Information Security Standards(MISS) was so brazen in his actions. Cabonge told Africa News 24-7 that not only did Nkondo receive money and a cellphone from him. He even went on to date his wife, promising her to be appointed permanently. According to Cabonge the two still have a romantic relationship. “I once received a tip-off of their whereabouts in Braamfontein and confronted them. I was so enraged when I saw them kissing, I pushed Ruskin and he fell to the ground. Cabonge said he was heartbroken and felt betrayed by Nkondo.

“Not only did I give him an iPhone, but I also gave him cash on several occasions. In one occasion, he sent me a location of his house where I went to drop money. When I gave it to him, he complained that it was not enough. I then went with him to withdraw more cash at a Sasol filling station near his house.

Africa News 24-7 is in possession of dozens of WhatsApp messages and pictures which clearly prove Nkondo is indeed having a romantic relationship with Cabonge’s wife, who has since moved out of their house. In one of the messages to Dangwana, Nkondo wrote: “U enticed me with yesterday’s dress.” Dangwana, who has saved Nkondo’s number in her phone as “Rus Love” responded: “You loved it neh… n you could easily slip your hands to the punani. Yhoo when you touched me there, yhoo I was in another world.”

 

 

In another message, Nkondo writes: “You spoke with the American. Regarding my mom’s birthday party.” Nkondo apparently referred to Cabonge as the American because Cabonge frequently travels to the United States on business trips.

Another message shows how Dangwana was pleading with Nkondo to secure her friend, Bongi a job in the City of Joburg. “M meeting Bongi, the one I want you to help for the job…. wanna brag about us. To which Nkondo responded: “Please bring me Bongi’s CV.” In her response to questions that were sent to her, Mahanjana confirmed she had accepted money and other gifts from Cabonge. She claimed she had also given money and other gifts to Cabonge whom she referred to as “a relative”.

Asked if she had declared these to her employer, Mahanjana said she and Cabonge “have both assisted each other in so many ways including financially and otherwise, even babysitting each other’s kids”. “Serge and Zimasa have been like family to me especially Zimasa since 1995. There is nothing in the GFIS mandate that requires families to declare whatever they receive or give as an aid or assistance to their relatives. Besides I am not aware of any business dealings that any of them has with City of Joburg.”

When told about Mahanjana’s claims, Cabonge said: “She’s talking rubbish”. I have evidence that shows how she has been extorting money from me. I have never received a cent from that woman and we’ve never been family or relatives. She has never been to our house and I have never been to hers. She does not even know where we live. I have evidence showing how she persistently extorted money from me. Let her present evidence that shows I have received any money or gift from her.

Nkondo did not respond to questions that were sent to him. Dangwana declined to comment, only saying “please respect my privacy.” Asked for a comment GFIS head Shadrack Sibiya said the allegations levelled against his officials were “very serious and concerning”. “This unit’s mandate is to investigate corruption, and for it to achieve its goals it is imperative that its image and integrity are intact. And so must the integrity of officials that work for it.” Sibiya concluded: “We will investigate these allegations as a matter of urgency.”

Angolan-born, South African based “Blesser” Serge Cabonge. FILE PHOTO: Supplie

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