The Home Affairs Department has confirmed that embattled former Tshwane MMC for Transport and Roads, Sheila Senkubuge, has been living in South Africa for the past 35 years.

However, the department says it’s investigating her for alleged fraud. This follows allegations that Senkubuge was neither eligible to vote nor hold a Tshwane Council seat back in 2016 as she was not a naturalised South African citizen at the time.

Records in possession of the Home Affairs Department stipulate that Senkubuge was born in South Africa 35 years ago. This is after her parents arrived in the former Transkei from Uganda to work as lecturers. The then Transkei regime granted them permission to work and live in the homeland.

Senkubuge is alleged to have been elected as a proportional councillor for the Democratic Alliance (DA) in 2016 even though she was not a South African citizen yet.

Minister Aaron Motsoaledi briefed the media in Pretoria on Sunday.  He says his department and the Independent Electoral Commission are probing the matter.

“And because of the widespread interest in the matter, we went to retrieve the file in our archives which gives information about Ms Senkubuge from as far back as 36 years ago in 1983, which shows that his parents entered the former Transkei from Uganda to work for the Department of Education. She was born a year later in the former Transkei in 1984. The parents were given appropriate documents as it pertains in the former Transkei according to the laws that were applicable then.”

Senkubuge only became a naturalised South African citizen in 2018. Motsoaledi explains: “I know the DA has thrown it to the IEC and say they must tell us how the person voted. The answer is simple. She’s on the voters roll. And as far is that the IEC is exempted.”

Senkubuge resigned on Saturday as Tshwane Member of the Mayoral Committee for Roads and Transport.

The controversy around her citizenship follows her alleged involvement in what is being dubbed a ‘Sex in The City’ her alleged discussion of other municipal officials with Executive Mayor Stevens Mokgalapa who has since taken special leave.

In the meantime, the ANC has threatened to go to court after attempts to unseat the controversial mayor through a motion of no confidence failed to materialise on Thursday last week. The party also wants the Hawks to investigate the Senkubuge citizenship saga.