Arrest warrants issued for KZN MEC, speaker

2011-07-11 15:30
Johannesburg - Arrest warrants have been issued for KwaZulu-Natal Economic Development and Tourism MEC Mike Mabuyakhulu and legislature speaker Peggy Nkonyeni, the National Prosecuting Authority said on Monday.

"I can confirm that the comments by the KwaZulu-Natal Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in the Independent on Sunday about warrants of arrest... is correct," said Mthunzi Mhaga.

"I have spoken to the acting DPP advocate Simphiwe Mlotshwa and he confirms that he has signed the warrants for arrest... which relate to the Intaka project," he said.

"As far as I know no arrests have been made yet."

Police were not immediately available for comment.

Mhaga was referring to a report in the Independent on Sunday which claims that police are poised to arrest Mabuyakhulu Nkonyeni.

The two face fraud and corruption charges relating to a R1m "donation" paid by South American businessman Gaston Savoi to the ANC in 2007 in exchange for a R45m government tender.

Normal tender processes were allegedly bypassed so that Savoi's Intaka company was given a tender to supply water purification plants to hospitals and clinics in KZN.

Mlotshwa said: "At this stage, investigations reveal they should face two charges, of fraud and corruption. These charges have an umbilical connection to the matter involving Savoi. But the investigation is ongoing and if it is found that more serious charges could be brought against them, we will do that".

Act decisively

Provincial DA Legislature leader, John Steenhuisen, has called on KZN Premier Zweli Mkhize to "act decisively to save a cabinet in crisis".

He said Mabuyakhulu and Nkonyeni should be suspended immediately upon their arrests.

He confirmed that the DA had been lobbying for Nkonyeni's removal, first as health MEC and later as provincial Speaker, since the Intaka matter first came to light.

He said the imminent arrests sent out a strong message that no one was immune to prosecution.

"There is this perception that if you have the money or connections, you can get away with almost anything.

"Such high-profile arrests will deal with the belief that prominent people can escape justice".

ANC KZN Provincial Secretary Sihle Zikalala said the party would not comment on "rumours" about the warrants of arrest "as they have not been reported formally".

"We also want to put it on record that we have full [confidence in] Nkonyeni and Mabuyakhulu as leaders of the ANC, we therefore don't want to be distracted by [this hearsay].

- SAPA
Read more on:    politics  |  tenders
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