A trial date in the Nelson Mandela funeral scandal has been set for October 5, 2021, in the East London High Court.

The 12 accused, including former Health MEC, Sindiswa Gomba, NCOP member Zukiswa Ncitha, ANC regional chair Phumlani Mkolo and former Buffalo City speaker Luleka Simon-Ndzele were back in the local magistrate’s court on Wednesday. They are facing charges relating to suspected fraud involving R10 million, linked to the memorial and funeral of the former president in 2013.

The matter is finally heading to trial, seven years after it was first brought to court.

The case was provisionally withdrawn in 2019 and then put back on the court roll with new evidence. It has so far gone through 26 postponements.

The accused are delighted that they will finally have their day in court.

“I think this for us is justice. It is the beginning of justice and I’m hoping that the high court shall get through with us on the 5th of October and immediately be clear as to where it is going” says Gomba.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) remains confident in its case.

“Justice must prevail at the end of the day we are confident and believe that when the trial starts on the 5th of October 2021 at the East London High Court our prosecutors will be able to produce a formidable case and that will lead to a conviction of all the accused on the charges they’re facing,” says NPA national spokesperson, advocate Mthunzi Mhaga.

The accused remain out on bail.

The accused in the Mandela funeral scandal lambast the justice system for the delays in their case:

Calls for ANC EC leaders involved in Nelson Mandela funeral fraud case to step aside: