Metro deal for Metro cop’s wife

2008-05-09 00:00

The wife of Durban’s "millionaire" Metro cop secured a R10,3 million housing deal funded in part by the eThekwini Municipality where he works.

S’bu Mpisane (48), a sergeant in the Metro police dog unit reportedly earning R15 000 a month, hit the headlines last week when it emerged that he and his accountant wife Shauwn Mkhize (33) own a R15,5 million mansion in La Lucia.

Now questions are being asked about a housing tender granted to a company owned by Mkhize, her business dealings with the municipality and whether she declared her links to Mpisane and to an ANC councillor believed to be her mother.

A lawyer acting for the Mpisane family has threatened to sue anyone who "defames" them.

The DA has written to the KwaZulu-Natal head of the Scorpions, calling for them to investigate Mpisane’s "lavish lifestyle".

eThekwini councillor John Steenhuisen wrote that "it is abundantly clear that Mpisane could not afford this lifestyle on a police officer’s salary".

The municipality paid R3,5 million in January 2004 to fund the Lamontville housing project and develop 277 sites. The balance of funding came from the Housing Department.

Zikhulise Construction was awarded the tender to build the "top structures", according to a press release issued before the launch on January 17, 2004.

The only company that corresponds on the eThekwini municipal suppliers list is Zikhulise Cleaning, Maintenance and Transport, which is owned by Mkhize. A previous member of the business was Dumazile Mkhize (65), an eThekwini ANC councillor who, according to Steenhuisen, is Mkhize’s mother.

The councillor has refused to comment and referred questions to the same legal team representing the younger Mkhize. The elder Mkhize reportedly resigned from the business on February 25, 2004 — a month after the tender was announced.

According to the municipality’s "vendor" records, Zikhulise’s listed "competencies" include civil construction, concrete works, fencing, general building work, paving, plumbing and roadworks. It can also supply building materials, cleaning supplies and chemicals, food supplies and stationery.

According to a print-out of the municipality’s computerised records, Zikhulise has five full-time employees and lists its annual turnover at only R200 000.

Mkhize this week did not deny securing the tender, but declined to comment and referred all queries to her legal representatives.

Lawyer Thipe Mothuloe — who is acting for her and her husband — said he is unable to comment on whether his client declared a conflict of interest as he has not seen the tender documents submitted to the municipality.

"What is wrong with being a cop and being a millionaire? … What are you seeking to achieve with that line of questioning?" Mothuloe asked.

He said he has been "instructed to institute legal action against the publications who have clearly defamed my client by suggesting he is a fraudster".

"You must just be careful about that," he warned.

eThekwini city manager Mike Sutcliffe would not be drawn on whether Mkhize declared her interests or whether there is a conflict.

"The Mpisane issue emerged out of our own investigations into procurement matters. I’m not going to answer to specifics now until our investigations are complete."

Another company of which Mkhize is the sole member, Ukhozi Civil Cleaning and Construction CC, is also on the eThekwini Municipality list. It too has five full-time employees, but has a far greater annual turnover of R5 million.

In 2004, Mkhize’s business was highlighted in the Soros Economic Development Fund annual report as a beneficiary of Nurcha, a not-for-profit construction finance company funded by the South African government and the Soros Foundation.

According to the report, Mkhize — an accountant — started business with contracts to renovate schools. In March 2003, it built 117 houses in KwaZulu-Natal.

Not long afterwards, Mkhize received another construction contract worth about R4,7 million to build 307 low-income houses.

She obtained a R1,4 million loan from Nurcha. According to the Soros report, she made a R290 000 profit. By 2004 she was involved in two other projects.

Mpisane has remained mum about the source of his wealth. "I do a lot of things other than being a policeman, but I cannot mention them right now," he said last week.

He also said he is a qualified pilot, a claim dismissed by the Civil Aviation Authority, which said his student pilot licence expired in March.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.