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Politics Editors Choice

Steenhuisen calls for Ramaphosa to fire ‘corrupt’ Mashatile

DA leader John Steenhuisen said evidence strongly suggests deputy president Paul Mashatile is allegedly engaged in a web of corruption and state capture. File photo.
DA leader John Steenhuisen said evidence strongly suggests deputy president Paul Mashatile is allegedly engaged in a web of corruption and state capture. File photo.
Image: Freddy Mavunda

DA leader John Steenhuisen has threatened to take action should President Cyril Ramaphosa not fire his allegedly corrupt deputy, Paul Mashatile.

The official opposition party says corruption allegations have piled up against Mashatile in recent months and Ramaphosa should axe him.

“We demand that Ramaphosa fires Mashatile and directs the Special Investigating Unit to launch an urgent investigation into damning allegations of corruption and capture involving his 'Number Two'.

“We challenge Ramaphosa to come out of hiding and take urgent action over serious allegations of corruption and capture against Mashatile, who serves solely at the discretion of Ramaphosa.”

The DA criticised the president, saying he has chosen to do what he always does when people expect him to lead, by “going into hiding”.

“Like he did when the National Student Financial Aid Scheme corruption scandal broke around higher education minister Blade Nzimande a few weeks ago, Ramaphosa has again gone into hiding from difficult questions over his appointment and protection of Mashatile.

“It is a clear pattern with Ramaphosa. Instead of leading, he chooses to cower in the hopes his ANC government’s scandals will blow over. As in the case of Nzimande, the ANC has only made mealy-mouthed comments about Mashatile appearing before the party’s misnamed ‘integrity committee’. But the constitution and the oath of office Ramaphosa took means this is simply not good enough.”

The DA believes Ramaphosa's non-action against his deputy, who stands accused of “grave acts of abuse of power and state capture”, will render him complicit.

“If Ramaphosa cannot even act against capture and corruption perpetrated from inside the very same Union Buildings he occupies, why is he even there? Now that the people of South Africa know his 'new dawn' has been exposed for the empty lie it always was, it is time for us to ask: what is the point of Cyril Ramaphosa?”

In news reports it was revealed last week that during Mashatile’s tenure as MEC for human settlements in Gauteng his department paid R134m to a company owned by ANC donor Edwin Sodi for a housing project in Diepsloot that allegedly did not deliver a single house.

Steenhuisen said this was one part out of a total of R828m paid to Sodi by the department for projects.

“It was also previously revealed that Mashatile used Sodi’s luxury mansion on the Atlantic Seaboard in Cape Town on several occasions. This is in addition to millions of rand in loans granted by the Gauteng provincial government to a company owned by Nceba Nonkwelo, Mashatile’s son-in-law. In turn, proceeds were funnelled to another company that owns a R37m mansion in Waterfall Estate where Mashatile had been living. A forensic audit launched following the revelations confirmed the awarding of loans to Nonkwelo violated the Public Finance Management Act.”

The opposition leader said the evidence strongly suggests Mashatile is engaged in a web of corruption and state capture that potentially exceeds similar misdeeds perpetrated during the Jacob Zuma era.

“During his testimony before the state capture inquiry Ramaphosa promised that such crimes would not be repeated. However, by turning a blind eye to Mashatile’s corruption, he has not only broken that promise, he has also enabled Mashatile.”

The DA has given Ramaphosa until February 1 to and take action against Mashatile.

“If he fails to do so, the DA will again step in to lead while Ramaphosa cowers. We have prepared a comprehensive docket detailing the web of corruption that Mashatile has weaved. Further action will follow against both Ramaphosa and Mashatile if the president continues to cower.”

TimesLIVE


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