Godfrey Thabo Nkhasi, more commonly known as Thabo Nkhasi, was fired on 12 February 2012 for fraudulently using council letterheads to sell municipal land for personal gain.
He was the ANC councillor for Ward 28 in Diepkloof, Soweto.
In 2008 Nkhasi was paid R15 000 for land he sold to the Together As One Church of Christ. The true value of the land is unknown, but, according to reports, the church’s bishop Joseph Radebe confirmed that the payment had been made.
Nkhasi initially dismissed the allegations, claiming he was only acting as a middleman, facilitating a deal between the stand-owner and the church. This was later proved to be false when the council questioned the validity of receipts and letters Nkhasi had in his possession, apparently relating to the transfer of ownership.
In December 2011 after going through the council’s disciplinary processes, Nkhasi was found guilty and suspended for six months without pay. He was also ordered to reimburse the R15 000 and to pay for the R11 000 in building costs the church had incurred for construction.
On 12 February 2012 he was fired with immediate effect and a criminal case will be brought against him.
There was widespread anger within the Diepkloof community after the story broke, with scathing comments posted on various news sites as well as mutterings in the streets of the township. Relief at his removal was also palpable.
Diepkloof is a highly diverse community characterised by middle-class houses existing alongside modest shacks, and tuck shops on virtually every corner.
Residents take a fierce pride in their neighbourhood, though, and did not take well to news that an elected official was using his position for self-enrichment.
Many were saddened as well as enraged. Ward 28 resident Nkosana Mkhwanazi said: “My heart is not happy; he made it nasty for residents.”
He continued: “I am not angry, just sad. I am 58 years old and have lived here my whole life. Ward councillors should look after residents and make the area nice for us.”
Another resident, who asked to remain anonymous, said people feel very strongly about the episode. “Residents are very upset about what happened. It’s not right. Stop anyone on the street and they will share their anger with you,” she said.
Nkhasi was unavailable for comment despite repeated attempts to contact him.
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