Public Protector accuses Premier Mabuza of concealing evidence

Anthony Benadie MPL

Provincial Leader – Mpumalanga

There seems no end as to how far Mpumalanga premier David Mabuza, will go to protect himself and his political cronies when it comes fraud, corruption and maladministration investigations.

This came to light when Public Protector, Adv Thuli Madonsela, accused Mabuza of ignoring instructions relating to the submission of reports and action plans for scholar transport and housing. Madonsela was in the province as part of her Millenium Development Goals evaluation tour and visited Themba Hospital in KaBokweni.

According to Madonsela an investigation into the province’s RDP housing crisis has come to a standstill because the premier failed to meet deadlines. At the end of her housing evaluation tour to the province last year, Madonsela instructed the premier to make an in-depth analysis on the biggest housing challenges and to submit an action plan to address these. He has yet to comply with this order, despite the lapsing of the deadline.

Public Protector provincial representative, Sibekuza Dube, echoed Madonsela’s claims. He said that an investigation into the notorious scholar transport scheme has also not been finalised due to the government’s sloppy attitude in submitting vital documentation. This includes an audit report which the Department of Public Works, Roads and Transport – which manages the scheme – claims was passed to the Office of the Premier on request. Dube said although the premier has been approached on the matter, the report is still outstanding.

The DA believes that as the leader of the province, the premier is setting a dismal example in the fight against corruption and may also be in violation of the Executive Ethics Code. As per the code’s  General Standards section, members of the executive must, to the satisfaction of the President or Premier, as the case may be:

  • perform their duties and exercise their powers diligently and honestly;
  • fulfil all the obligations imposed upon them by the Constitution and law; and
  • act in good faith and in the best interest of good governance; and
  • act in all respects in a manner that is consistent with the integrity of their office or the government

In view of this, the DA will write to the Public Protector requesting for an investigation into the Premier’s actions and omissions. We will also ask her to investigate whether Mabuza’s attitude amounts to ethics violations as per the Executive Ethics Code.

For years now the people of this province have been hearing promises and commitments towards fighting corruption as it is a main contributor to poor service delivery. Words and promises are no longer enough because if the chief of the province can’t even set an example on how to fight this social ill, how will it ever end? This attitude will only cause the public from losing faith in the current system and leadership who continues to do nothing against those who steal from the masses for the personal benefit of a select few.