The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) are threatening to take harsh action against Premier Stan Mathabatha if he fails to make Agriculture and Rural Development MEC Mapula Mokaba-Phukwana and Head of Transport, Safety, Security and Liaison Department Hanli du Plessis to repay R1 638 728 and R1 154 432 respectively as recommended by a Public Protector’s report.
Mokaba-Phukwana and Du Plessis were requested by Mathabatha to repay the money within 14 days of receipt of notification which the two have reportedly not done. It is alleged that they had paid MPA Investigators to conduct investigations into irregularities in the department and there are claims that the company’s appointment two years ago was done without following proper procedure.
EFF Provincial Secretary Jossey Buthane was quoted in a statement to have said the party had opened a case of fraud and corruption against the two at the Polokwane Police Commercial Crime Unit and a complaint was also registered with the Office of the Public Protector about two years ago.
Buthane said: “The Public Protector’s report found that the company’s appointment was in violation of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) and Executive Members Ethics Act. The Public Protector recommended that both parties be subjected to disciplinary action and Mathabatha demanded that both parties repay the exact amount of irregular expenditure as determined by both the National and Provincial Treasury.”
He further emphasised that Mokaba-Phukwana and her co-accused had received the notices on 28 April and were expected to repay the money before or by 19 May. Buthane said Mokaba-Phukwana showed Mathabatha the middle finger and insisted that she would take the matter up for review.
If this is an intention to sweep the matter under the carpet, the EFF can assure the Premier that he will not succeed because the party will be on his case, explained Buthane. He further requested Mathabatha to come out clear if the bullying by Mokaba-Phukwana scared him so that he was now afraid to force her to comply.
“If the Premier is afraid of Mokaba-Phukwana or chooses to protect her, he must know that he will go down with her because we cannot promote corruption by allowing it to happen in front of our eyes. We call upon the Premier to update the people of Limpopo on the developments regarding this matter. He will not be doing anybody a favour, but adhering to Constitutional requirements. We demand that since the MEC has failed to pay a coupon of her illegally and fraudulently, corrupt and criminally acquired money, the Premier must come out clear and tell the people of Limpopo about his next step of action,” he said.
Premier’s Spokesperson Kenny Mathivha emphasised that Du Plessis made an appeal for the courts to look into the possibilities of taking the Public Protector’s report on review hence they were still awaiting the outcomes. He further indicated that the duo’s cases are treated as one, meaning that Du Plessis’ decision covers Mokaba-Phukwana. Mathivha indicated that taking the report on review does not mean the two are not guilty and further outlined that Mathabatha was waiting for a report from the courts.
Story: ENDY SENYATSI