Following a damning report by the public protector stating that public funds were used to renovate his East London home, opposition parties in the Eastern Cape are calling for Premier Oscar Mabuyane’s removal.
Mabuyane is opposed by the EFF and the DA.
On Friday, Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane released a report on her team’s investigation into how money meant for transportation to the late Winnie Madikizela-memorial Mandela’s service in 2018 was spent.
The investigation was launched after Mthombeni Projects director Lonwabo Bam came forward in 2019, claiming that he had submitted an R1.1m invoice to the municipality despite not having performed any work for it.
According to Bam, the invoice was fabricated to make it appear that he had provided transportation for Madikizela-memorial Mandela’s service.
Mabuyane’s East London home allegedly received R450,000 in renovations for a “better flow” into the living room.
Following the release of the report, Mabuyane stated that he would challenge it, adding that he had instructed his legal representatives to seek judicial review of the report.
Yazini Tetyana, provincial chairperson of the EFF, welcomed the findings in a statement.
“The Eastern Cape province continues to suffer from severe economic decline, underdevelopment, mass unemployment, and deplorable poverty.”
“More than 60% of the province’s young people are unemployed and looking for work.” The provincial government has led the province’s de-industrialization and the collapse of all labor-intensive sectors, and has institutionalised corruption in all spheres of government and public institutions.
“The ANC politicians continue to squander the same resources for their selfish criminal ends, despite the fact that the minimum resources available to municipalities and the provincial government should be used to resuscitate provincial industrial activity and job creation.”
Tetyana went on to say that the EFF would file a criminal complaint against Mabuyane, as well as public works MEC Babalo Madikizela and Mbizana municipal manager Luvuyo Mahlaka.
Bam claimed that ANC provincial treasurer Babalo Madikizela directed him to submit an invoice to the municipality.
When the money was paid to Bam, he allegedly paid R450,000 to the contractor working on Mabuyane’s home renovations on Madikizela’s orders.
“The evidence of the circumstances relating to the payments made are such as to give rise to an irresistible inference that [then human settlements MEC Babalo] Madikizela and [Mbizana’s municipal manager Luvuyo] Mahlaka knew that R1.1m paid to Mthombeni Projects were derived from an unlawful activity, while there is a reasonable apprehension or probability that Mabuyane also knew or reasonably ought to have known the same,”
Tetyana has demanded that the three be removed from office.
The EFF will also file a corruption case against Oscar Mabuyane, Babalo Madikizela, Luyolo Mahlaka – the Winnie Madikizela Mandela Local Municipality manager – and any other perpetrators who benefited from the corruption, and will ensure that they are all imprisoned and removed from the provincial government and municipalities.”
Andrew Whitfield, the DA’s provincial chairperson, urged Mabuyane and Madikizela to resign.
“It’s infuriating that the premier and his executive can go around preaching about fighting corruption, good governance, and managing consequences when he’s had his hand in the cookie jar the entire time!
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