By Judith Sibanda
The trial of Victoria Falls Mayor Councillor Somvelo Dhlamini who is facing alleged abuse of office charges is set to begin on March 10.
Dhlamini is accused of forging title deeds of a housing stand in 2013 before illegally selling the stand for US$ 20 000.
He made a brief appearance before Victoria Falls senior resident magistrate Lindiwe Maphosa on Tuesday who remanded him to March 10.
The allegations are that during his 2013 term of office as MDC ward nine councillor, Dhlamini was allocated by Victoria Falls Municipality a residential stand measuring 1 120 square meters at stand number 756 Aerodrome area at 40 percent discount which was supposed to be paid before the lapse of his term of office in 2018.
The terms of the sale according to circular number 12 of 2016 was that the councillors were prohibited from selling or ceding the lease during their terms of office, and the title deeds could not be issued until the development of the home was complete.
They were only to be given offer letters.
Instead of abiding by the conditions set by the ministry of local governance, Dhlamini decided to sell his unpaid and underdeveloped stand to Memory Buhle Sithole for a purchase price of US$ 20 000.
The accused had corruptly forged a title deed which was used by Sithole to acquire a loan from CABS.
After the approval, Sithole allegedly went to make direct payment of US$ 7 962 (40%) discount to Council.
Investigations also established that at the time of sale of the stand, there had not been any developments on the stand.
Council argues that since Dhlamini had not made a single effort to pay for the stand or develop it, they would’ve sold the same stand at US$ 20 000 to the applicant who had been on the waiting list considering that his term of office was about to lapse, and they had the right to repossess it if it was not paid for in five years.
Dhlamini made a gain of US$ 12 038 through the sale.