Philemon Mapulane cleared of fraud and corruption charges. Picture: Thabo Rantlha.
The ANC provincial treasurer Philemon Mapulane is a relieved man after the Pretoria Commercial Crimes Court, on Wednesday, dropped fraud and corruption charges against him.
Mapulane is the former municipal manager at Madibeng local municipality and was charged for the embezzlement of municipality funds in August 2010.
However, the state withdrew the charges, reportedly for lack of evidence to mount a successful prosecution.
During a press conference in Mafikeng yesterday, Mapulane said he felt vindicated and that the charges were a political ploy by his detractors.
"I have always maintained that the charges were a reflection of a political and conspiracy agenda against me and I''m happy it's now over. I can now concentrate on my political career," he said.
The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration in December last year ruled in favour of Mapulane in his labour dispute with the municipality.
A settlement was reached earlier this year for him to be paid out the remainder of his contract since he did not want to return to his job. He said that his lawyers would study the latest development and if the need arose, he may sue for damages to his reputation.
The ANC provincial executive committee pledged its support for Mapulane and urged its supporters to do the same.
Deputy provincial secretary Gordon Kegakilwe said: "We hope that (the withdrawal of charges) would once and for all close this difficult and painful chapter. The organisation should move on to serve our people."