Mtshweni “applying her mind” on Thandi Shongwe’s conduct

There’s a growing call for her to recall the MEC.

Premier Refilwe Mtshweni is said to be “applying her mind” on growing calls for her to fire arts and culture MEC Thandi Shongwe.

She replied to a letter written by the EFF’s Collen Sedibe titled ‘Recalling of the MEC for Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture Hon BT Shongwe’ and said that the matter was receiving her attention.

Sedibe wrote the letter on 15 October 2018 to Mtshweni complaining about a string of fraud and corruption allegations levelled against Shongwe.

In the letter, Sedibe wrote of a “recent proven allegation” of how Shongwe allegedly used over R60 000 in one month on her government cellphone.

Other allegations stem from the time he was the speaker of the Mpumalanga legislature beginning from 2014 to 2018.

During this time, Shongwe is said to have presided over tender irregularities.

ALSO RELATED: Sedibe says the Scopa is useless – and that’s why they went to cops to lay charges against Shongwe

The tender irregularities are captured in an Auditor-General’s reports and involves R30 million.

R19.6 million of this R30 million was awarded to a company called ‘Frugacode CC’ to provide security and data integrity and the Auditor-General found that this company was not really supposed to get the tender because it used a SAP accreditation that was not registered under its name.

The other money – R9.9 million – was given to a company called ‘Junox 210 CC’ despite being disqualified during the bidding process for not having a tax clearance certificate.

The EFF also accuse Shongwe of –

– Misusing taxpayers’ money in the R8.3 million procurement of the flawed Nelson Mandela statue

– Spending taxpayers’ money for hotel rooms, T-shirts and petrol while attending Prophet Bushiri’s church in Gauteng

– Having fraud and corruption charges opened but still continuing to hold office

“The conduct of Mrs BT Shongwe as a public representative is not honourable and compromises the principle and standards of good governance, corrupt-free, open and transparent government that is accountable to the people,” Sedibe said in the letter to Mtshweni.

Mtshweni’s office replied and said that they were looking at the matter.

“The honourable Premier is applying her mind to the matter,” they said in an e-mail reply to Sedibe.

(edited MLM)

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Refilwe Mtshweni defends “incompetent” Gillion Mashego

She said the ANC doesn’t engage in ” impulsive behaviour” like opposition politicians who fire their own based on emotions.

Premier Refilwe Mtshweni has defended one of the much-bashed MECs in her cabinet, saying all that opposition parties are raising are “baseless allegations”.

She was answering oral questions at the Mpumalanga legislature Thursday this week.

The EFF’s Collen Sedibe had asked the Premier why did she reshuffle the “incompetent” MEC Gillion Mashego from health to public works on 3 July 2018.

“Is the department that he is ‘recycled’ into not important in your eyes and amongst the other departments?” Sedibe asked.

Mtshweni answered that their deployees are deployed based on “their expertise and collection of skills”.

“The Honourable MEC Gillion Mashego is a capable and competent politician who has previously proved himself in the various positions that he has been deployed and I am confident that he will continue to do a sterling job in the position that he is in,” said Mtshweni.

She said Mashego has a vast experience in governance and administration as well as knowledge.

“For your information, he was in the Public Works administration at provincial and at district level before full participation in politics.

“Therefore this territory from an implementing perspective is not new to him. That said however, as an MEC, his role requires him to oversee the implementation of policy, provide strategic direction and guidance to his department and hold the head of department accountable on implementation,” Mtshweni said.

Mashego weathered several storms while he was health MEC.

The DA’s Jane Sithole, who is a shadow health MEC in the province, wrote a number of letters to then Premier DD Mabuza asking him to fire Mashego.

ALSO RELATED: Gillion Mashego sued billions in hospital negligence

In September 2016, members of the Democratic Alliance, led by Sithole, marched to the Mpumalanga provincial legislature and handed over a memorandum calling for the immediate resignation of Mashego, accusing him of “bringing basic healthcare to its knees”.

SEE ALSO: Parliament committee brings Gillion Mashego’s department into the spotlight

Mtshweni told Sedibe that opposition parties were “impulsive” in their behaviour and tended to fire their own deployees based on “emotions” and “baseless accusations”.

“Contrary to other political parties’ impulsive behaviour of firing and sacking of their deployees based on emotions, difference of opinions, rumours and baseless allegations, such behaviour is not the culture of the ANC. We relieve people of their responsibilities only where there is sufficient evidence of wrongdoing or unlawful activity, or if a member is in a serious breach of their mandate and/or they have committed a serious crime,” she said.

(edited by ZK)

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Auditor General to investigate R 8.3 million Mandela statue

The provincial government is accused of using the late struggle icon’s name to do “dubious financial dealings”.

The Democratic Alliance in the Mpumalanga province is rushing to the office of the Auditor to ask him to investigate how R 8.3 million was used in the procurement of a bronze statue of former President Nelson Mandela.

The statue was erected outside the Riverside government complex.

Premier Refilwe Mtshweni and arts and culture MEC Thandi Shongwe unveiled the 6 meter high statue of Mandela.

“One of the rejected bids would have costed a total of R 2.7 million but the provincial department of culture sports and recreation ultimately chose a company that charged over three times that amount,” DA leader Jane Sithole said in a statement.

“Culture, sports and recreation MEC, Thandi Shongwe, is no stranger to controversy related to hyper-inflated tenders as she has been linked to multiple inflated tenders during her time as speaker of the provincial legislature,” said Sithole.

She said the reason they have now asked the Auditor-General to investigate the tender matter which caused an outcry in the province was the “ANC’s tendency to use Nelson Mandela’s name and memory as a disguise for dubious financial dealings such as the R 70 million given to Carol Bouwer’s Company for Nelson Mandela’s memorial services along with R 5 million for a Nelson Mandela video commissioned by the Office of the Premier that has never seen the light of day”.

“The people of Mpumalanga continue to be burdened with rising unemployment, inadequate healthcare facilities and poor service delivery that have ensured that thousands of people remain in the clutches of poverty. All of this, while the provincial government chooses to protect corruption and divert public money to projects that will not benefit the people of this province,” she said, adding that they were writing to the AG to ensure public money was not abused.

EFF leader Collen Sedibe said he estimated the statue cost close to R 20 million and wondered how much Shongwe “pocketed”.

“If the statue itself is R 8.3 million and with the ceremony where they hired tents, catering and bought ANC T-shirts, we are talking of R 20 million,” Sedibe said.

“We can’t have Mandela statues everywhere when our people are deep in poverty,” he said.

Mtshweni said the unveiling of the statue was important as it will show the future generation the role Madiba played in liberating South Africa.

“This is a way to thank and show how Mandela played a part in our liberation as a country,” she said.

Meanwhile, Facebook users said the statue didn’t look like Mandela.

(edited by NN)

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Mpumalanga EFF elective conference. Here are the contesters for positions

It will elect another leadership since its birth in July 2013.

The EFF in the Mpumalanga province has announced the date of 31 August to 1 September 2018 as the date of an elective conference.

Called a Provincial People’s Assembly, the party of South Africa’s enfant terrible Julius Malema will hold its Mpumalanga elective conference at the Ingwenyama Lodge, Mbombela the coming weekend.

800 delegates are expected to fill the main hall at the Mpumalanga affluent resort on the Friday afternoon of 31 August and the Saturday of 1 September, electing the top 5 officials and the 16 additional members.

Provincial leader Collen Sedibe, whose term comes to an end the coming weekend, is expected to emerge once more as the Mpumalanga leader of Mzansi’s third largest party alongside Gcina Mofokeng who is favoured by a larger number of supporters to come become the provincial secretary.

Mpumalanga EFF elective conference. Here are the contesters for positions

Gcina Mofokeng (Second from left).

Sedibe will go face-to-face with Isaiah Khoza, the former Mbombela mayor who left the ANC in September 2015 and who was the city’s mayor between the years 1995 and 2004.

Mpumalanga EFF elective conference. Here are the contesters for positions

Isiah Khoza.

013NEWS understands Khoza is leading a faction that is opposed to Sedibe returning to power once more and Gert Sibande’s charismatic politician Pkay Nkosi is said to be gunning for the position of secretary – in Khoza’s slate.

Sedibe, who is Malema’s favoured candidate in the race, has a slate that wants Sam Zandamela as the deputy provincial chairman, Mofokeng as secretary and Ntsako Mkhabela as deputy secretary.

Mpumalanga EFF elective conference. Here are the contesters for positions

Sources say the position of deputy secretary is a Bohlabela region position – with Velephi Malatji also tipped for it.

ALSO RELATED: Secretary Alfred Skhosana reacts to expulsion, cries “purge”

There is also another faction wants Solly Kekana as the chair, “once and for all”.

“They feel his political skills cannot be left like that and can move the EFF forward in the province,” a source said.

Japhta Mashilo, current deputy chairman, is also needed by the Khoza faction to return his post but Masemola will have to go face-to-face with Zandamela, the current legislature member who replaced secretary Alfred Skhosana when he he got expelled “from the membership of the party” in May 2018.

Mpumalanga EFF elective conference. Here are the contesters for positions

Collen Sedibe and Cyril Chuene.

“Cyril Chuene also wants to be the secretary. He currently doesn’t have a slate but you will always never know, maybe he will align in the 11th hour because Cyril is Cyril you know,” a senior fighter told the 013NEWS reporter over the phone.

“But I see Gcina emerging with the whole thing happening in that region. Kenneth Mazibuko also wants to be the secretary but you see he needs the numbers. He has instead approached the Sedibe faction to have him as the additional member in the provincial command team,” the source said.

Sedibe said they welcome contests at the conference as this is a democratic movement giving everybody the chance to lead.

“Any member of the EFF in good standing has the right to stand for any position if nominated,” the spokesman said when he answered WhatsApp’d questions

Mpumalanga EFF elective conference. Here are the contesters for positions

(edited by ZK)

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Mpumalanga EFF “more than ready” for elective conference

The party says they will hold a 2nd Provincial People’s Assembly before or in early June 2018.

The EFF in Mpumalanga is ready to hold a provincial elective conference, it said on Wednesday.

Currently they are just finalising the branch audits, provincial chairman Collen Sedibe said on Wednesday.

“Hopefully the audits will be done in time because there was a pre-audit that was done, so now it’s just a touch up. We are ready,” Sedibe said.

RELATED: Alfred Skhosana says suspension is aimed preventing him from contesting Sedibe

He said in the EFF the audits are done by an audit team from party headquarters in Braamfontein.

“End of May or early June 2018 we should have the conference,” Sedibe said.

Sedibe wants to be re-elected as the chair of the party in the Mpumalanga province.

Alfred Skhosana, the suspended secretary, is said to be vying for Sedibe’s position but is now out in the cold after his suspension on 28 February 2018.

There is one faction that wants Sam Zandamela from the Nkangala region to be the secretary and another wants eHlanzeni’s Cyril Chuene for the secretary position.

(edited ZK)

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