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Pic: Leon Sadiki, Gallo ImagesThe former mayor of Rustenburg, Matthew Wolmarans, may not find his prison cell as warm as his last office, but he is still bringing in a monthly salary of R35 000, according to the current mayor, Mpho Khunou.

Wolmarans and his driver, Enoch Matshaba, were sent to jail in July for the murder of councillor Moss Phakoe in 2009, after the deceased blew the whistle on the corrupt politician. But despite their arrest and imprisonment, Wolmerans and his accomplice are still getting paid by the municipality.

“Although Wolmarans stepped down as mayor, his contract as council Speaker is still in force and he is being paid R35 000 a month,” reported the Mail & Guardian last week. Since the ANC North West provincial committee never expelled the former mayor, although it was instructed to do so by the national executive, Wolmarans has been allowed to sit in jail and draw a salary. He is serving 20 years for the murder.

ANC North West spokesperson Kenny Marolong told Corruption Watch that the Provincial Working Committee (PWC) would be meeting early next week to discuss this issue. There would be answer on the matter “quite explicitly”, from the committee by Tuesday.

Our zeros of the week are the Rustenburg Municipality for continuing to pay the salary of a convicted corrupt official while he is sitting in jail, and the ANC for not enforcing its members stand to the highest ethical standards.

This is not the first time the ANC has been easy on its own people: in 2006, National Executive Committee member Tony Yengeni was convicted of corruption for accepting a 47 percent discount on a car through the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company while the company was tendering for the arms deal. Yengeni was a member of the parliamentary committee that decided on who won the bid for that tender.

Several ANC officials, including the Western Province premier at the time, Ebrahim Rasool; provincial ANC chairperson at the time, James Ngculu; and the ANC chief Whip in parliament at the time, Mbulelo Goniwe, were sympathetic to the ANC stalwart and spoke of him in high regard. Yengeni only served four months of his four-year sentence before he received parole from Ngconde Balfour, who was the correctional services minister at the time.

But he was not the only one. In recent years, there has been a list of high-profile politicians and friends of the ANC who have skipped out on years of their prison sentence because of medical illness. However, they seem to find their feet on the golf course.

Despite a 20-year sentence for murder, the former mayor of Rustenburg, Matthew Wolmarans, is earning more than a living wage as the council Speaker – from his jail cell.
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