Themba Sgudla claims DD Mabuza ‘interferes’ in Mpumalanga tenders

Themba Sgudla claims DD Mabuza 'interferes' in Mpumalanga tenders
NOT IMPRESSED: Businessman Themba Sgudla accuses deputy president DD Mabuza of running a parallel structure within the Mpumalanga government through which he continues to control who gets which tender in the province. PICTURE BY 013NEWS/MLM

He says he’s recently had a number of instances where he was told by officials that ‘Mabuza says no’.

Businessman Themba ‘Masofa’ Sgudla has alleged that deputy president David Mabuza “interferes” in the running of the Mpumalanga government and its tender systems.

He said heads of departments and municipal executives continue to be “summoned” by Mabuza to his Barberton farm to allegedly receive instructions about who should get work; this without Premier Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane’s knowledge.

“Once you interfere with the constitutional obligations of a sitting Premier and convene meetings with officials of her government behind her back in the name of being a deputy president and tell the officials about the people they should give work to and about those that they should not you are actually running a parallel and illegal structure in the government of Mpumalanga,” Sgudla said Tuesday 10 November 2020.

He said the alleged “interference” leaves those of them in opposing camps with no choice but to speak out or seek a solution from the courts.

Sgudla said in 3 recent instances Mabuza allegedly interfered and the said “projects collapsed after he had summoned the officials of the department to his house in Barberton”.

“The projects were settled by the office of the Premier and Mabuza interfered through the officials of the department despite the fact that Refilwe Tsipane is the sitting Premier and had settled the matter with the parties,” Sgudla said.

ALSO SEE: Refilwe Tsipane to Mandla Ndlovu: ‘Let’s not allow negative energies to divide us

Sgudla didn’t go into detail about the exact projects or what they were about but said he will now have no option but to go to court to report the interference of Mabuza in the Mpumalanga provincial and local government procurement processes.

Tsipane’s office said the work of the provincial Government is informed by the electoral manifesto of the ANC as well as the various Makgotla which are convened to develop the implementation framework of the policies outlined in the Manifesto.

“The Premier along with members of the Executive derive their mandate from the African National Congress and the constitution which has deployed them and tasked them with the responsibility to tirelessly fight the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment,” her spokeswoman Sibongile Mkani-Mpolweni said Friday.

Sgudla said Mabuza, who seemingly no longer sees eye to eye with Tsipane, frequently “interacts with departmental officials which he summons to his personal house”.

“But he also summons other departmental heads and directors and still decides who must tender for which job in the province despite the province having a Premier,” Sgudla said.

He said this is Mabuza’s “old tendency” – an “old culture since his time as Premier” – of running government and the ANC from his house in Barberton.

Masofa said he had “proof” how Mabuza allegedly ordered disgraced human settlement HOD Kebone Masange to work towards the approval of a certain tender that was going to happen between the Mpumalanga public works and human settlement departments but which Masange allegedly refused.

“Masange told him he was not going to be able to do that thing without Premier Tsipane’s permission and from there he began hating Masange and worked towards destroying him,” Sgudla alleged, referring to Masange’s arrest on 1 September 2020 over allegations that he lied to home affairs officials about his country of birth, which is Zimbabwe. 

Charged with fraud, Masange is accused of obtaining a South African identity document fraudulently and was arrested in Tshwane by the Hawks.

ALSO SEE: Refilwe Tsipane places Kebone Masange on suspension

In an sms he leaked to the media Tuesday, Sgudla asks Tsipane to call him back when she gets “time” as he had been trying to call her without success.

He writes that it “has come to a point where we can’t tolerate the tendency of the deputy president of the Republic of South Africa DD Mabuza to interfere in the operations of the departments of the province of Mpumalanga government and calling directors and HODs to his house in Barberton for his personal interest”.

“Please intervene on this matter because this is wrong and it must come to an end. I will have no option but to take this court,” the sms reads.

Mkani-Mpolweni confirmed the premier received the sms. “Premier notes the contents of the SMS but cannot verify the contents of the sms,” she said  

(edited by ZK)

Send tips-offs to or click here to chat via WhatsApp