New Sports MEC Mathabo Leeto severely compromised

James Letuka, MPL

Free State Provincial Legislature

The DA is extremely concerned with the appointment of Me Mathabo Leeto to MEC for Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation. MEC Leeto is currently out on bail for her alleged involvement in the same tender racket MEC Malakoane is involved in, which saw a R13 million irregular tender awarded to supply photocopiers to the Matjhabeng municipality.

MEC Leeto has a long history of alleged financial impropriety, these are:

  • A R2 billion multi-tender fraud and racketeering racket, over several years, in Matjhabeng Local Municipality which effectively crippled the municipality financially.
  • MEC Leeto stands co-accused along with MEC Malakoane for charges relating to corruption, fraud and money laundering. Her then husband, Lehana, received a R200 000.00 kickback paid directly into his account from Gestetner, the company awarded the contract.
  • In 2009, during MEC Leeto’s tenure as mayor of Matjhabeng, she saw the construction of a R1 million wall and R500 000.00 worth of renovations to her private property in Odendaalsrus.
  • MEC Leeto also hosted a lavish mayoral inauguration party when she was appointed mayor for the Lejweleputswa District Municipality in 2011. When questions were raised she claimed that there is nothing wrong with hosting such parties and the money was used from “savings”.

MEC Mathabo Leeto is severely compromised and it is our opinion that she is not what the Department for Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation needs. We can’t rust her with access to large budgets that would oversee the promotion of the arts and sports development.

Her appointment to the executive by Premier Ace Magashule is a clear indication on how the ANC pays lip service to the fight on corruption.

The Department For Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation needs a competent and dedicated individual that would advance sports development programmes, especially for the youth, in communities across the Free State and not merely the construction of empty stadia.

There is also a need to restructure the management of the annual Macufe festival that would see it becoming more professionally managed, ensure that it becomes financially self-sustainable and allow for greater participation of communities in the festival through access to more affordable ticket prices.

We will be watching MEC Mathabo Leeto very closely.