MEC Should Be Fired Due to Conflict of Interest

Veliswa Mvenya MPL

DA Eastern Cape Shadow MEC for Rural Development and Agrarian Reform

The MEC for Agriculture, Zoleka Capa, must be deployed to another department in order to put an end to her favouritism towards the OR Tambo District Municipality and the Ntigna Development Agency of which her husband is the CEO. The ANC deployed her as the MEC for Agriculture knowing very well that she has personal interests in farming in this district. Conflicts of interest open the door for accusations of corruption. Clearly the ANC in the Eastern Cape is not serious about rooting out corruption. Instead it creates opportunities for it.

On Friday (subs: 31 August) it emerged during a meeting of the Portfolio Committee on Rural Development and Agrarian Reform that the Ntinga Development Agency had been given R5 million by the department for an agricultural project in the Alfred Nzo District Municipality. Clearly there is a conflict of interest here: ironically the MEC’s husband is both CEO of Ntinga and an official of the OR Tambo District Municipality. It must be questioned why Ntigna — described as “a service utility company”…responsible for spearheading Local Economic Development in the O.R. Tambo district” — is involved in another municipality.

This is not the first alleged dodgy dealings by MEC Capa. While she was mayor of O. R Tambo, she paid R55 million on behalf of the municipality in 2008 for the purchase of five farms in KwaZulu-Natal, which are allegedly in a state of decay and managed by Ntinga.

It seems that the MEC continues to pump money into this agency, headed by her husband, through agricultural programmes of the department. She messed up as the mayor now she has been given an opportunity to mess up the whole province.

The ANC should have seen this coming but has chosen to turn a blind eye because of MEC Capa’s membership on the National Executive Committee of the party.

We are calling on the Premier to reshuffle MEC Capa and deploy her to another department before the whole agriculture budget is spent in the O.R. Tambo region and in projects for Ntinga.

If the ANC and the Premier are serious about rooting out corruption they should do so regardless of the high position held by those involved.

This province depends on agriculture for economic growth and the eradication of poverty. We cannot afford to allow this department to be run so recklessly.

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