‘Don’t use media to tarnish our image’

'Don't use media to tarnish our image'
DEFENSIVE: Mpumalanga ANC acting provincial secretary has slammed the media for reporting on the investigation reports released by Mandla Msibi's COGTA which reveal large scale corruption and nepotism in some of the province's worst run municipalities. PICTURE BY 013NEWS/ZK

She said it’s a known fact that journalists get money from politicians to do extra work against their opponents.

ANC acting secretary Lindiwe Ntshalintshali has called on party members to refrain from tarnishing one another for factional ends.

She said as ANC they know that “the law will take its course” on those who are found to be in the wrong “irrespective” but members just needed “to avoid public spats” against one another.

“We know that some people are used,” Ntshalintshali told party members while campaigning for a by-election in Reyno Ridge,  eMalahlani last Friday.

“But if you are alleged to have done something we have committees in the ANC where you can clear your name and you don’t owe anyone an explanation,” Ntshalintshali said.

“Media people must get their facts correct because we are not going to tolerate them attacking the leadership of the ANC,” she said.

Ntshalintshali speaks as investigators release reports uncovering blatant nepotism, corruption and bad governance in some of Mpumalanga’s worst run municipalities – where she and her allies are fingered in wrong-doing.

The reports are still to be tabled before councils – where councillors will either opt to adopt, ask to review them or completely reject the reports.

They show key allies in the #Focus camp chose to abandon their mandates as elected leaders, living lavishly off municipal money.

Mandla Msibi’s co-operative governance department released 4 reports – one into the state of Pixley ka Seme in Volktrust, another into Govan Mbeki in Secunda, Lekwa and another into JS Moroka.

The JS Moroka report showed that the municipality spent R10.8 million drilling and installing a meagre 14 boreholes instead of hundreds needed for the water-scarce community.

One of the 14 was given to Nkangala ANC regional chairman Speedy Mashilo’s cattle in his KwaMhlanga farm, another for the cattle of ex-manager of technical services Ephraim Babedi, another for councillor Moni Sekwala’s house and another for councillor Jerry Segalagala’s house.

SEE HERE: Mashilo’s cattle win a taxpayers-funded borehole

The JS Moroka municipality was charged more than R860 000 to drill and install the one borehole to the farm for Mashilo’s cattle, despite the farm being situated in another municipality – the Thembisile Hani local municipality.

'Don't use media to tarnish our image'
Nkangala ANC regional leader Speedy Mashilo who is ANC Mpumalanga secretary Lindiwe Ntshalintshali’s ally

In another complaint, which has been investigated by the eMalahleni municipality and which is now finding its way to Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane is about Sithembiso Mbuli – Ntshalintshali’s son and Sizwe Mabona, her brother’s son, who both benefited from a municipal traffic officer training course.

On Friday Ntshalintshali defended herself and Mashilo while addressing the ANC volunteers – and said if there is any allegation of wrongdoing the ANC has its own committees that deal with such and not the media.

She said it was unfortunate that people thought she influenced the selection of her son and nephew to be trained as traffic cops by the eMalahleni municipality, because she was not working at the municipality when the selection occurred.

Ntshalintshali was eMalahleni mayor from August 2015 until early 2018 when she left the job to go focus on ANC provincial headquarters in Mbombela as acting secretary after the ANC conference elected then provincial chair David Mabuza as deputy president and then deputy chair Violet Siwela to the NEC on 18 December 2017 – leaving two vacant posts in the provincial top 5.

The graduation ceremony for the 10-month course took place on 15 January 2020.

Ntshalintshali said freedom of speech is allowed for the media but “the media should just leave political battles”.

“We know that some people are used to tarnish the name of the ANC but we say if your name is tarnished come to the Intergrity Committee and explain yourself. You don’t owe the media any explanation,” she said to applause.

(edited by ZK)

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