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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Sedibe: ‘Scopa is useless – the reason we went to police’

They want her to answer for fraud and corruption that occured while she was in charge.

The EFF says they decided to approach the cops and not the Select Committee of Public Account to lay charges against former legislature speaker Thandi Shongwe because this committee “doesn’t have teeth”.

“Instead it protects and covers up departments and corrupt officials, so to raise the matter with the Scopa is not going to make sense. The cops are better,” spokesman Collen Sedibe said.

“It is tantamount to reporting a crime to the very same criminal and expect the criminal to arrest, charge and sentence themselves,” he said.

Case number 6/8/2018 is registered with the police in Mbombela against Shongwe, legislature secretary Linda Mwale and finance officer Mbuso Mpika.

The EFF case is based on the findings of the Auditor-General concerning a R9,9 million tender and another, worth R19,6 million.

The R9,9 million was for the supply of photocopiers to the Mpumalanga legislature for a period of three years but the Auditor-General found that despite being disqualified during the bidding process for not having tax clearance certificate the officials quietly awarded the Junox 210 CC the tender.

ALSO RELATED: Thandi Shongwe’s state Merc had ‘minor damages’

Frugacode CC was awarded the R19,6 million tender for security and data integrity, City Press reportedand 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.

Police spokesman Colonel Mtsholi Bhembe confirmed the case against Shongwe, Mwale and Mpika had in fact been opened and was opened this month. He said they are busy looking at it.

Sedibe said: “The case was opened against Thandi Shongwe because she was an executive authority at the time of the fraud and corruption, meaning she should have acted against the secretary of the legislature who was reporting to her directly. Moreover, the Auditor-General also mentioned her in the investigation report.

“The EFF is very clear in its founding manifesto and on non-negotiable pillar number 7 that we want a corrupt-free government that is open, transparent and accountable to the people without fear or favour,” he said.

The legislature said they will allow the cops to do their work since the matter is not with Scopa.

(edited by MLM)

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Guptas, Duduzane and I are no friends, says Mabuza

The EFF’s Alfred Skhosana asked the Premier some very hard questions in the legislature.

Skhosana: Honourable Premier, EFF is reliably informed that from Moscow in Russia to South Africa you were given a lift by the Guptas in their private jet whilst you were critically ill in your four months absence. However, this statement was corroborated by the spokesperson, Mr Zibonele Mncwango, in an interview with City Press newspaper.

Furthermore, it is stated that the Guptas are planning to launch a local newspaper that will portray you as good leader that is delivering in Mpumalanga. This whole exercise will then put you in a favourable position for the contestation of the leadership of the ANC in December national conference. What is your relationship with Guptas and Duduzane Zuma?

Mabuza: I have no special or personal relationship with the Guptas. I do know Mr Duduzane Zuma since he is the son of the President but I am not his personal friend. 

Skhosana: How long have you known them?

Mabuza: I have no special relationship with Gupta family. Like any other South African, I know that this is a family that is involved in various businesses in the country and abroad.

Skhosana: How frequent do you contact each other?

Mabuza: I don’t have any frequent contact with them.

Skhosana: In Mpumalanga the Guptas have mining business, what role did you play in securing them this deal?

Mabuza: I had absolutely no role to play in securing them mining business deals. As the member would know, mining is a national competency and has nothing to do with the province.

Skhosana: Would it be fair to you if the EFF can institute a private investigation to search your phone records with Petrus Ngomana and those of Duduzane Zuma and the Guptas to ascertain a link?

Mabuza:  We live in a country that respects the rule of law. There are designated institutions responsible for investigating any alleged wrong doing on the part of any individual, irrespective of rank or social standing. The EFF is a political party, and has no legal mandate to undertake investigations.

*These are oral questions answered by the Premier in the Mpumalanga provincial legislature on 15 August 2017.

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