DA tells Public Protector Dlamini used state money for electioneering in Tlokwe

2013-09-13 16:34

Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini could be in hot water after the DA reported her to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela for allegedly using government resources to benefit the ANC.

Dlamini was in the politically volatile town of Tlokwe, North West today to publicise a Food For All government programme, which caters for vulnerable groups such as hungry children.

Dlamini has been accused by the opposition of using the programme, in which she dished out blankets, food parcels and vanity packs to thousands of Tlokwe residents, to campaign for the ANC ahead of the by-election next week.

Coincidentally, Dlamini’s roadshow is taking place just five days before the all-important by election in nine wards where ANC councillors voted out Tlokwe’s mayor, Maphetle Maphetle, for alleged corruption.

In a statement, DA social development spokesperson Mike Waters said the party wrote to Madonsela today asking her to investigate Dlamini’s distribution of food parcels in Tlokwe.

“The DA has learnt that the minister is planning a televised launch of a plan to pump over 3 000 food parcels into the municipality today,” Waters said.

“The minister’s conduct is, at the very least, unethical, and a violation of the executive ethics code of conduct.”

The DA charged that Dlamini has transgressed section 2 of the code of conduct, which requires members of the executive to perform their duties diligently, honestly, with integrity and good faith.

“The distribution of food parcels just before nine by-elections can only be construed as the dishonest use of public office to further a party political agenda,” Waters said.

“If the minister is indeed distributing food parcels in Tlokwe due to genuine service-delivery concerns, where has she been the last couple of years? Has she just awoken to the fact that the people of Tlokwe have suffered under ANC governance now that a by-election is around the corner?”

The party also alleges that Dlamini has employed 180 ANC Youth League members through the SA Social Security Agency to conduct door-to-door canvassing for the ANC under the guise of “profiling” poverty in the wards”.

Waters also wants Madonsela to probe the use of state resources to secure and distribute food parcels and blankets ahead of the by-elections.

Dlamini, who was accompanied by ANC North West chairperson Supra Mahumapelo on the roadshow today, dished out food packs.

In an apparent reference to independent candidates, most of whom are former ANC members who voted Maphetle out of office, Dlamini told residents to ignore candidates who made “false” promises.

She shouted: “Phambili President Jacob Zuma, Phambili! (forward President Jacob Zuma, forward!” and also chanted the song “Aphile ingunaphakade uMandela Aphile” (may Mandela live forever) as residents chanted back.

Dlamini dismissed allegations of electioneering as nonsensical when she was approached for comment earlier.

Asked about the DA’s request for Dlamini to be investigated by Madonsela, Dlamini’s spokesperson Lumka Oliphant said: “We can’t stop the DA from asking for investigations.”

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