Probe Mokonyane's R3.25m house, DA says
Pretoria - The public protector must probe the R3.25m spent over the past three years to maintain Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane's official Bryanston residence in northern Johannesburg, the Democratic Alliance said on Thursday.
"It is all very suspicious. I have already referred various aspects of the spending on this house to the Public Protector, and will refer the latest fishy expenditure to her as well for investigation," said DA caucus leader Jack Bloom in a statement.
These millions in expenditure were revealed by Gauteng infrastructure development MEC Bheki Nkosi in a written reply to questions by Bloom, in the Gauteng Legislature.
Called for comment, Mokonyane's spokesperson Xoli Mngambi said the DA has every right to approach the public protector but they (premier's office) would respond if and when approached by the office of the public protector with documentation.
The written reply by Nkosi refers to R547 000 spent in 2008 on "deep cleaning of the house, garden service, swimming pool and smaller maintenance", Bloom said.
He said in 2009 and 2010, about R2.7m was spent on refurbishment of the main bedroom and en-suite bath room, the kitchen, laundry, dressing room closet, curtains and bedding, and furniture.
Furthermore, there was painting of internal walls, and supply of a TV, a cupboard and additional couches.
"Keliana Services was paid R3.25m for the above services and another company, Sonke Plantscapers, has a R137 619 88 contract for maintenance on the house this year. This really appears excessive," said Bloom.
In the same reply last September, then infrastructure development MEC Faith Mazibuko listed the same refurbishment work for 2009/2010 but at a lower price of R2.072m, Bloom said.
He said the latest reply "deviates significantly" from previous replies that he's been given.
"This is the first time that Keliana has been named as a service provider, whereas other companies were named before.
"[Mokonyane] is ultimately accountable in this matter. We need to know why more than R2m has been spent on the house during her administration alone," he said, also questioning if these tenders were awarded properly.
Mngambi said they will not respond to hearsay.
Bloom said this house was bought for R11.5m in 2004, but about R13m has been spent since then on various refurbishment and repairs although the house was only a few years old when purchased by the province.
Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's office said it had not yet received any complaint about the spending on the house from the DA, at noon on Thursday.