'MaNtuli left our NGO high and dry'
PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma's wife Nompumelelo Ntuli-Zuma's NGO collapsed after she was accused of spending funds on matters unrelated to the charity.
MaNtuli, who was the treasurer of Intsika Yembokodo Development, allegedly used the funds and this sparked infighting among the NGO's other directors.
The directors are Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi's wife Noluthando, Jabu Khoza, Ukhozi FM presenter and DJ Dudu Khoza, gospel star Deborah Fraser and maskandi singer Ihashi Elimhlophe's wife Linah Khama.
Sunday World can reveal that all hell broke loose when Jabu Khoza, the NGO's chairperson, received SMSes from the bank notifying her of the money spent.
A source close to one donor says Jabu, a known confidante of the Zumas, questioned the disappearance of a total of about R30000, of which R3000 was used for accommodation. Sunday World could not independently establish what the remainder was used for.
The six women registered the charity organisation in 2008, but it later folded due to squabbles triggered by the alleged squandering of funds by MaNtuli.
After a nasty confrontation between MaNtuli and Jabu early last year, the NGO ceased operating. It is alleged that the women had linked the organisation's bank account to Jabu's cell number, while the bank card was kept by MaNtuli.
A source close to one donor says MaNtuli started withdrawing money and using it for her own expenses. "The chairperson was receiving SMSes in the middle of the night about money being spent for non-organisational matters," says the source.
"The incident which broke the camel's back was when Khoza allegedly received an SMS informing her that the card was used to pay R3000 for hotel accommodation at Isibaya Casino.
When Jabu called Frazer, who was with MaNtuli at the time, to inform her of the transaction, she put Jabu on speaker and all hell broke loose. They started swearing at each other. They didn't want to lay criminal charges against her because of her status, and they feared being victimised.
"Fraser, Dudu and Khama defended MaNtuli, while Noluthando remained on the fence after her husband [Vavi] had strongly warned her against associating with MaNtuli."
Noluthando confirmed that the NGO had ceased operating but denied that her husband had warned her about MaNtuli. "We had a few problems," she says. "I'd rather reserve my comment."
Jabu says she cannot comment as the matter was sensitive and involves high profile people.
"All the members are still with the NGO, they haven't resigned at Cipro," she says. Dudu refused to comment, while Khama said the organisation did not take off at all.
Fraser says Jabu hasn't spoken to her in a long time: "I don't know what is her problem. People are always levelling false allegations against MaNtuli. Is it because they hate her?"
Presidency spokesman Mac Maharaj forwarded our questions to MaNtuli, who responded through Baile Ramalepa, the head of the spousal office. See sidebar.
MaNtuli's spousal office reponds:
"IT is correct that MaNtuli has always and still is passionate about working with the most needy in our country with an intention to positively improve their plight- hence her involvement with such initiatives with Insikayembokodo [sic] being one of them," says Baile Ramalepa, the head of the spousal office.
"However, whilst there might have been arguments with some directors of Insikayembokodo [sic], there was nothing unusual and not at all acrimonious with any specific individual for that matter.
"MaNtuli did claim some amount of money from the NGO to recover her money that she had used to fund the NGO's function which was held in Durban - that this could be labelled embezzlement is rather unfortunate.
"As for the relationship with others - it still remains cordial and nothing will stop MaNtuli from working with and for the needy - hence she is currently reviewing and restructuring her role and involvement in such programs and initiatives."