The fraud and corruption case involving sacked Eastern Cape Health MEC Sindiswa Gomba and her 15 co-accused on Friday was postponed to May after the matter was moved to the Eastern Cape High Court in East London.

The 15 suspects, including the three companies, are accused of hatching a scheme to swindle the Buffalo City Municipality of  R10 million following the death of former president Nelson Mandela in December 2013.

They are accused of misleading the municipality into believing that it had an obligation to make funds available for the funeral and memorial service of the former statesmen. Although R5.9 million was successfully transferred to them, the municipal manager, Andile Fani, halted further payment of R4.1 million.

According to Sipho Ngwema, National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) national spokesman, the accused made a brief appearance at the East London Regional Court on charges of corruption, money laundering, fraud and contravention of the Municipal Finance Management Act.

In February, the accused were released on bail after they briefly appeared in court.

In a ststement on Friday, Ngwema said “Phumlani Mkolo, Zukiswa Veronica Ncitha, Themba Tinta, Luleka Simon-Ndzele, Sindiswa Gomba, Tembelani Prideaux Sali, Ondela Vatile Mahlangu, Viwe Vazi, Zintle Nkuhlu (a trustee of the Lilly Rose Trust), and Nqaba Ludidi had their bail extended”.

“Nosiphiwo Mati and Dean William Fanoe made their first appearance after they could not be in court on 12 February  because of ill health.

“The 12 are charged with Vazi, Mati and Fanoe’s respective companies, Forty Wings Lodge CC, Mpidos Emergence and Training CC, and Mantella Trading 522 CC.”

Ngwema  added that the matter was postponed to 11 May at the high court provisionally for merit consultation, management of pre-trial matters and possible determination of a trial date.