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Who exactly is Lennox Ntsodo, the man accusing Zuma’s MK party of forging signatures?

Who exactly is Lennox Ntsodo, the man accusing Zuma’s MK party of forging signatures?
Lennox Ntsodo is a former staunch Jacob Zuma supporter. He led the HandsOffZuma campaign in 2017 in Cape Town. (Photo: Facebook) I Lennox Ntsodo during a HandsOffZuma campaign in July 2017 in Lwandle, Strand before the motion of no confidence against then-President Jacob Zuma. (Photo: Velani Ludidi)

If the allegations that the MK Party forged signatures are true, this could have grave consequences for the legitimacy of the elections. 

A man named Lennox Ntsodo has levelled serious allegations against Jacob Zuma’s uMkhonto Wesizwe party, alleging that the party forged thousands of signatures to qualify for participation in the 29 May polls. Ntsodo claims that the signatures were sourced from the jobseekers database owned by the Cape Town municipality.

The signature forgery scandal comes as the MK party’s support has been steadily growing, with the latest Ipsos poll showing that if the election were held tomorrow the party would garner 8.4% of the national vote, climbing to fourth position, with more support than all the other new parties.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Zuma’s MK party and unhappy voters whack ANC to 40.2% in latest Ipsos poll

If the allegations against the MK party are proven correct, this could have grave implications for the legitimacy of the elections, Daily Maverick’s Lerato Mutsila reported.

On Tuesday, National Police Commissioner Fannie Masemola told reporters on the sidelines of a crime prevention imbizo in Inanda, Durban, that the investigation was still in its initial stages and the police were trying to determine whether there was a case.

Read more in Daily Maverick: SAPS probes allegations that MK party forged signatures

Questions remain on the identity of Ntsodo and why he only came out now with such allegations a few weeks ahead of the crunch elections.

Read more in Daily Maverick: 2024 elections hub

Daily Maverick approached Ntsodo for a one-on-one interview, offering the option to have his legal team present. Initially, he agreed but mentioned he needed to consult first. Upon returning, he stated that his legal team advised him to limit interviews to only two media outlets, which he declined to specify. He also refused to provide the affidavit he gave to the police, citing that the two media outlets would publish his story in the coming days.

Who is Ntsodo? 

Ntsodo is a staunch Zuma supporter and headed the HandsOffZuma campaign in Cape Town before Zuma resigned as President of the country in February 2018. Ntsodo travelled across the city encouraging ANC supporters to defend Zuma and call for the removal of Dr Makhosi Khoza who, at the time, was publicly supporting a proposed motion of no confidence against Zuma.

Daily Maverick last saw Ntsodo in Philippi, Cape Town when Zuma was on the campaign trail in March this year.

Read more in Daily Maverick: MK party’s ‘mission impossible’ to win votes to amend Constitution to re-elect Zuma as SA president

Ntsodo was on course to lead the MK party in the Western Cape until aspects of his past were brought to light. Sources inside the MK party sent information to Daily Maverick back in January that included two case numbers linked to alleged fraud while questioning why the party was considering Ntsodo to lead the province.

(Image: Supplied)

An ANC councillor in the City of Cape Town said Ntsodo almost ruined his chances of becoming a councillor when Ntsodo made people work without pay.

“He was well connected in the ANC and before the 2021 local government elections, he said he wanted to assist in my campaign. He came with refuse collection trucks and asked that I bring him 50 people to hire.”

The councillor said he followed the instructions and the local community members cleaned the area. Come payment time, Ntsodo was nowhere to be found.

“People were angry with me because I recommended them to him,” said the councillor. “The people almost did not vote for me because of this and I am still angry at him for what he did.”

Illicit activities suspicion

Just like Zuma, Ntsodo has had a brush with the law and is currently out on bail for fraud charges after allegedly pretending to be a City employee and selling plots of land for R100,000 in Mfuleni.

Together with an accomplice — Nombongo Bidi — and two municipal officials — Gerrit Engelbrecht and Neil Welman, they pocketed close to R900,000 from selling the plots.

According to the charge sheet, the foursome committed these acts between July and October 2022 in the Mfuleni area, where Ntsodo is from. It has been alleged Ntsodo had to flee from his home after being pursued by people he allegedly defrauded.

Recently, a court interpreter, Nomvuyo Dyosi who works at the Blue Downs Magistrate’s court in Cape Town was arrested after she tried to solicit a bribe from Ntsodo’s sister, TimesLive reported. National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said Dyosi allegedly approached Ntsodo’s sister, Zimasa Ntsodo, at his bail application to “buy sweets” for the magistrate to “rescue” her brother, who she suspected had been assaulted in custody.

“The sister asked the accused what the ‘sweets’ she was referring to were, and the accused replied a payment must be made so she (Dyosi) could give the money to the magistrate for her brother to get bail.”

Lennox Ntsodo was subsequently granted bail of R5,000 on 13 November, 2023.

Dyosi then allegedly started demanding payment of R20,000.

The siblings informed a family member — who also works at the court — about the incident. The family member then notified the magistrate about the accusations.

“The magistrate denied the accusations against him and immediately reported the matter to the police,” said Ntabazalila.

Jobseekers database

The City of Cape Town maintains a jobseekers database, from which hiring projects can request names when seeking to employ a specific number of individuals. The names are selected randomly from the database. Many of these job opportunities are part of the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP), a poverty alleviation partnership between the national government and municipalities that provides temporary employment opportunities to the unemployed.

Councillors do not have access to this database — only EPWP managers have access to it. To sign up, unemployed individuals are required to register themselves at their subcouncils.

There have been reports in the past that councillors had their database for record-keeping purposes. This database would be kept to check against hiring the same individuals and keep tallies of the number of people that benefited from the EPWP.

Sources within the City of Cape Town told Daily Maverick that the municipality was questioning the legitimacy of the allegations surrounding Ntsodo and how the MK party could have accessed the database.

City Spokesperson, Luthando Tyhalibongo said; “The City notes the accusation made of forged signatures obtained from a jobseekers database and submitted to the IEC. The City takes any accusation involving a potential breach of personal information very seriously and complies with the Protection of Personal Information Act. Once we receive any breach complaint we will investigate the matter accordingly and take corrective action if required. We have not received any complaints to date.”

During an interview, MK party spokesperson Nhlamulo Ndhlela said they would open a countercase against Ntsodo but did not say when. “He offered as a volunteer to help, only [for us] to find that he was involved in frivolous and questionable activities.”

Ndhlela said Ntsodo was disgruntled for not making it into the party’s candidates list. DM

Gallery

Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Thefixers Kzn says:

    You quite simply can’t make this stuff up. 8.4% National, 23% in KZN. Going to be rough

  • Dennis Bailey says:

    Very badly put together piece that hardly logical in progression.

  • Jeff Robinson says:

    Mr. Ntsodo has obviously been feeding very well at the trough of corruption. I thought at first it was Khulubuse. What has become of him by the way?

  • Beyond Fedup says:

    Crooks, thieves, charlatans – the whole lot of them! From him to zuma, mk, eff, anc – this country is awash with the most vile criminals, parasites and thieves. It is no wonder that this country has become a virtual failed state with such despicable so-called leaders. And it doesn’t say much for the gullible and foolish masses that continue to vote for these scum and give them hero status. SA needs a miracle for deliverance from these voracious hyenas.

  • Middle aged Mike says:

    Members of the ‘political’ class in SA are clearly not subject to calorie constraints.

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