Network bluffing public — Mkhize

2013-06-27 00:00

KZN Premier Zweli Mkhize has disputed claims by the Public Sector Business Network that he had accepted their invitation to attend a workshop this month.

Last week, the National Planning Commission (NPC) warned people about the network, which allegedly used pictures of the commissioners and that of Premier Mkhize, and the Presidency logo on their promotional material to sell a conference.

The NDP leadership conference, which was scheduled for June 13 and 14, never materialised.

Mkhize warned the public and condemned the Network for “misleading” the public.

“I wish to distance the KZN provincial government from this conference. We did not grant permission for the use of the KZN government coat of arms and names of the members of the provincial cabinet and their photos.”

Instead, he said, the organisers were informed that KZN government was not going to participate, Mkhize said in a statement.

Last week, the commission was blamed by conference delegates for not honouring its “obligation” to facilitate the NDP leadership conference.

Acting head of the NPC, secretary Khulekani Mati, said: “My colleague noticed that the invitation and promotional material to sell the conference bore the faces of some of our commissioners. The title of the workshop, National Development Leadership Conference, implied that we were involved in the whole thing,” said Mati.

He said seats were sold using the same promotional material, even though the network had been warned to remove the commissioners’ photographs and the department’s logo from the material.

“How can they use our commissioners’ photographs without permission? The delegates who complained to us said they were of the impression that the commission was involved in this, only to be told on the first day of the conference that the title of the event has been changed,” he told The Witness.

Delegate Patrice Mosiane, an employee at the Mangaung Metro, confirmed that they were sold the conference with material bearing the photos of the commissioners, KZN Premier Mkhize and the Presidency logo on it.

“We sent a delegate because we believed that among the topics the National Development Plan would be discussed,” said Mosiane.

When contacted for comment, the network threatened legal action against the NPC.

The Witness managed to speak to a Mr Nkomo, who refused to disclose in what capacity he was involved with the Network.

“Premier Mkhize accepted the invite and he was supposed to be at the gala dinner on the first day of the conference. I don’t know what happened at the venue,” he said.

The NPC’s Mati said the network could “go ahead with the legal action”.

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