The ex-ministers under another cloud

2013-12-20 00:00

CAPE TOWN — Neither of the two former Public Works ministers named in connection with the upgrades at Nkandla completed their terms of office.

Both Geoff Doidge and Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde left the department under clouds caused by another controversy, the R1,7 billion lease for new police headquarters entered into with property tycoon Roux Shabangu.

Shabangu even alleged on record that Doidge offered him a R50 million bribe.

Doidge was once again prominent in the government’s Nkandla report.

It says that he personally visited the complex in 2009. One of the recommendations is that Doidge and his former deputy, Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu, should be investigated further.

Doidge is currently high commissioner in Sri Lanka and Bogopane-Zulu is deputy minister for Women, Children and Persons with Disabilities.

In 2010, President Zuma replaced Doidge with Mahlangu-Nkabinde. In 2011, the Public Protector, following an investigation of the Shabangu leases, found that two were illegal.

This report led to the replacement of Bheki Cele as police commissioner and Mahlangu-Nkabinde’s removal as Public Works minister.

Current Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi said in 2012 that both Doidge and Mahlangu-Nkabinde had denied all allegations against them in connection with the leases in sworn affidavits, and there was no investigation pending against them. The security cluster’s report makes no recommendation about Mahlangu-Nkabinde, although it finds that both former ministers were directly involved in the Nkandla affair.

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