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Fifteen arrested in South Africa over fraud

Fifteen people in South Africa are facing fraud charges relating to the funeral of the former president, Nelson Mandela, in 2013.

They include prominent members of the ruling African National Congress in the Eastern Cape province. They have not commented on the allegations.

Prosecutors accuse them of corruption and money-laundering amounting to nearly $700,000 (£500,000).

Mandela was the country’s first black leader after apartheid ended in 1994.

The allegations first emerged in 2014, months after Mandela’s funeral in Qunu, Eastern Cape, in December 2013, which was attended by heads of state from around the world.

Those facing charges include the health minister of Eastern Cape province, Sindiswa Gomba, a number of business figures, and other lawmakers from the governing ANC.

Among them are regional chair Pumlani Mkolo, former Buffalo City metro mayor Zukiswa Ncitha and council speaker Luleka Simon-Ndzele.

Prosecutors allege they made fraudulent claims for the transportation of mourners and venues used in the city of East London for memorial services.

They were granted bail and are expected to appear on 5 March.

bbc