- Collen Sedibe, the EFF leader in Mpumalanga, has been acquitted on all charges of fraud
- Sedibe had been accused of forging court documents ordering the legislature not to withdraw his official residence
- The magistrate ruled that the state did not convince the court that Sedibe knew that the documents were fraudulent
Collen Sedibe, the EFF's leader for Mpmulanga, has been acquitted of all fraud charges.
The ruling was handed down by the Nelspruit Magistrate Court on Thursday.
Sedibe had been charged with four counts of fraud and accused of falsifying court documents compelling the legislature not to withdraw his official residence.
The charges against him were opened by the Mpumalanga provincial legislature. He was arrested in 2017 and released on bail.
Sedibe claimed to have received the court orders from an attorney who was subsequently struck from the roll.
The magistrate ruled that the state provideded insufficient evidence that Sedibe knew the documents to be forgeries.
This is not the first time Sedibe has courted controversy. The Department of Health accused Sedibe in 2018 of misleading the public when he criticized the department's service delivery at Themba Hospital in Mpumalanga. Sedibe had accused the hospital of providing patients with only "one slice of bread and a glass of water once a day."
On Thursday, Sedibe cheered the court's ruling on Facebook.
"Not guilty as charged and acquitted," he posted. "My image and reputation is not for sale."