Former DA councillor convicted of fraud over bogus housing scheme
Wilma Brady was accused of duping a construction company into believing she had the authority to appoint contractors and allocate land
A former Cape Town DA councillor has been convicted of R3m fraud for giving a bogus appointment letter to a developer to build RDP homes on land owned by the Western Cape government.
The Bellville Commercial Crimes Court convicted Wilma Brady on Wednesday. According to court documents‚ Brady unlawfully entered into a contract with Lelethu‚ a construction company‚ which purported to bind the provincial government financially.
Brady was the chairperson of the city’s Oostenberg subcouncil in 2006 when she claimed she represented 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 reads in part.
According to the prosecution‚ Brady misrepresented to the company that she could select private developers to build houses and allocate land. Councillors are not "involved in contracting with entities at provincial or municipal level".
Brady also used Premier Helen Zille’s name to dupe the company into believing she had 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".
"When he [Beukes] gave the plans to [Brady]‚ she telephoned him afterwards and mentioned that the plans were not drafted according to what they previous discussed‚" the court documents read. "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."
Eric Ntabazalila‚ spokesman for the prosecution in the Western Cape‚ said Brady would be sentenced on August 17.
"She is currently [out] on warning‚" said Ntabazalila.