Two ‘failing’ mayors lead parastatal board

2012-02-10 14:55

The DA in Mpumalanga has condemned the appointment of two former mayors whose councils almost collapsed due to corruption as board members for a parastatal, the Mpumalanga Economic Growth Development Agency (Mega).

Mpumalanga department of economic development and tourism (Dedet) MEC Norman Mokoena this week appointed former Ehlanzeni mayor Jeri Ngomane and former Thaba Chweu mayor Clara Ndlovu as Mega board chairperson and deputy respectively.

Both Ngomane and Ndlovu left their municipalities while corruption claims prompted the provincial corporative governance and traditional affairs department (Cogta) to place the municipalities under administration.

Ngomane’s term expired in 2006 after auditors had uncovered financial mismanagement on the capital projects budget of R90 million. He was disciplined by the ANC and has been left out of future deployments.

The ANC dismissed Ndlovu and her ten councillors in Thaba Chweu municipality in Mashishing (formerly Lydenburg) in 2009 after a series of service delivery protests amid claims that R3.2 million had disappeared from council coffers.

Provincial DA leader Anthony Benadie said Mokoena’s appointment of the two showed his “disdain” for conservation and tourism in the province.

“The appointment of these members to the board clearly reflects how the ANC uses the Mega and other parastatals as empowerment vehicles and handsome reward for senior party members who have failed elsewhere,” Benadie said.

“Instead of interviewing and appointing suitable conservationists and tourism professionals, he chose to stick with the incompetence of party faithful. The DA believes that MEC Mokoena’s decision will lead to the final collapse of the Mega, and that dark days lie ahead for tourism and conservation in our province,” he added.

Mokoena dissolved the Mega board in May last year after accusing them of underperformance.

The former board members, however, said that they were fired for defying Mokoena’s instructions to hire former Gauteng public works HOD Sibusiso Buthelezi as the parastatal’s new chief executive officer (CEO).

Dedet spokesperson Mohau Ramodibe said the two were suitable for the job.

“I don’t believe that the whole cabinet that has 11 members, including the premier (David Mabuza) would make a wrong decision. Due processes were followed when they were appointed,” Ramodibe said.

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