Malema ‘gunning’ for health MEC

2011-06-11 18:23

ANC Youth League (ANCYL) leader Julius Malema is gunning for a prominent Limpopo MEC after her probe into tender corruption in  the province.

Four independent sources told City Press that Dikeledi Magadzi, Limpopo’s health and social development MEC, had allegedly uncovered evidence of malpractice in the awarding of multimillion-rand contracts and staff appointments.

Magadzi, previously the safety and security MEC, took over the department during a January Cabinet reshuffle by Premier Cassel Mathale.

A senior ANC leader, two senior government officials and a youth leader sympathetic to Malema, told City Press that Magadzi’s internal tender fraud and corruption probe had sparked tension between her and Malema.

City Press reported last week that the company owned by Malema’s cousin, Tshepo, had been awarded a R44 million tender as part of pharmaceutical contracts worth R167 million awarded without being advertised.

The tender is now being probed.

A furious Malema subsequently told the ANCYL’s provincial general council last Sunday that an unnamed Limpopo MEC had asked the Hawks to arrest him and Mathale for alleged corruption.

“How can an MEC go and ask the police to arrest the premier, who appointed the same MEC, and we sit back and allow that to happen?” Malema asked.

Magadzi was conspicuous by her absence at the gathering, attended by Mathale and several MECs aligned to him.

Sources said Magadzi recently met Dibero Molatjana, the head of the Hawks in Limpopo, to discuss corruption in her department, but Molatjana denied this.

Limpopo police spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi denied investigating anyone in particular, saying police “had no grounds to investigate anyone if that matter has not been reported”.

He confirmed Molatjana previously met Magadzi, but insisted the issues had nothing to do with Malema and Mathale.

A senior ANC leader said: “A plethora of investigations have been launched by Magadzi into tenders and staff appointments which, at face value, look as if something was fishy.

That is why they are angry with her”.

A pro-Malema youth leader said a provincial youth league leader confronted Magadzi about the matter two months ago, but was told she “does not take instructions from boys, but from above because she is an elected (ANC) NEC member, not a co-opted one”.

Magadzi, through her spokesperson Joe Maila, declined to comment.

Jacob Lebogo, the youth league’s provincial secretary and a Malema ally, dismissed allegations that Malema was gunning for Magadzi.

He warned, however, that MECs were not appointed to “terrorise” fellow comrades.

“Anybody who is given a responsibility by the ANC must respect such a responsibility.

That cannot be viewed as an opportunity to terrorise members of the ANC and the youth league. That cannot be tolerated,” said Lebogo.

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