A woman who allegedly posed as Deputy President David Mabuza’s niece and mired his name in an assassination plot is a disgraced former school clerk.
Nomfundo Sambo (31) was implicated in alleged fraud in 2009 while working at Mpunzana Primary School in Shabalala Trust near Hazyview. She was 23 at the time.
Details about the kind of fraud she was involved in at the school are sketchy.
But the Mpumalanga education department confirmed that Sambo was its employee. It said she was involved in “some shenanigans and then absconded from work to avoid disciplinary action”.
“[Sambo] was appointed as admin clerk at Mpunzana Primary School and she was discharged on the September 30 2009 for abscondment,” said departmental spokesperson Jasper Zwane.
He said he was struggling to find the details about Sambo’s misbehaviour because the incident happened a long time ago.
On November 8 at DA offices in Nelspruit, Sambo allegedly masqueraded as Mabuza’s niece and assistant at his Johannesburg home and claimed her name was Thandeka Mabuza.
She deposed an affidavit at Sonpark Post Office alleging that the deputy president was conspiring to assassinate nature conservationist Fred Daniel, with whom he has had an ongoing legal feud.
Sambo’s motive and intention for implicating Mabuza in the assassination plot are still unknown. The Hawks have confirmed they are investigating the matter but described the case as “very sensitive”.
Sambo was allegedly brazen and confident when she went about muddying Mabuza’s name and those of Ian Nyalunga and Mandla Nkosi. She referred to them as “gangsters” and alleged they were going to carry out the hit on Daniel.
A day before writing the affidavit under her pseudonym, Sambo first went to the DA’s offices in the Mpumalanga government complex, which has surveillance cameras and where visitors have to produce their identity documents to be allowed entry.
She was, however, caught out by the registration number of the car she was driving which exposed her true identity.
A DA official, who was present during Sambo’s visit, said she was “hysterical” and presented a façade of being vulnerable and scared when she visited the offices.
Sambo lay low immediately after writing her sworn statement and switched off her phone.
Last week the phone rang. A man eventually answered it and said Sambo had gone out and he would tell her to return the call. She, however, did not return numerous calls from City Press.
Nyalunga, who last month claimed that he knew Thandeka Mabuza, said he had made a mistake and thought that he was being asked about another Thandeka he knew.
Nyalunga was, however, reluctant to explain why Sambo would drag his name into the mud and said the matter was in his lawyer’s hands.
“My heart is sore. I had never been in such a situation before. Each and every mall I go to people take photos of me and say this is Ian, a killer,” he said.
Further investigation has revealed that Sambo allegedly had used Thandeka’s name before to open a store account.
Thandeka was born on October 24 1986 and her residential address is in Mahushu near Hazyview.
Sambo was born on October 19 1987 and is from the same residential address.
Sambo also has a Kagiso, Krugersdorp, residential address. On her facebook profile she has listed Masoyi police station’s telephone number as her alternative contact number.
Daniel opened a case of conspiracy to commit murder against Mabuza, Nyalunga and Nkosi at Sandton police station on November 11.
He said in his affidavit that Sambo intended to discredit his name.
“Unbeknown to my advisers and me, the conspiracy to kill me was actually a conspiracy to discredit me as a whistle-blower by having me arrested and charged with treason for fabricating evidence that the deputy president has put me on on his much-feared hit list and intended to have me killed,” Daniel said.
“Unfortunately for the conspirators, the conspiracy unravelled when Thandeka’s real identity as Sambo became known,” he said.
Mabuza’s spokesperson, Thami Ngwenya, said: “We are now requesting that the police be allowed to do their work unhindered and bring those behind this sinister agenda to book. Any other theories that may be peddled [are] not for the deputy president to engage on.”
Daniel obtained an interim protection order against Mabuza early this year after claiming that he [Mabuza] had a hand in influencing government departments to sabotage his ecotourism business by withholding licences to keep animals.
The interim order was dismissed in the Carolina Magistrates’ Court, but Daniel is appealing.