Minister in sex and lies scandal

Johannesburg - Sicelo Shiceka, the embattled cooperative governance and traditional affairs minister, is caught up in an unravelling web of sex, ­scandal and ­deceit.

City Press has been shown a list of names said to be current and former lovers of Shiceka, who has been on sick leave since February.

Three sources close to Shiceka have spilled the beans on his affairs with a string of women, some of whom he fathered children with.

The minister also has a live-in partner and an estranged wife.

Most of the women with whom Shiceka allegedly had romantic ­liaisons denied it when contacted, but confirmed knowing him.

One of the women with whom Shiceka has fathered a child is Free State public works MEC Sisi Mabe, in whose presence Shiceka collapsed during a visit to Bloemfontein in February.

A source close to Mabe said she rushed the minister to a local hospital and “camped at the hospital for days, sleeping on the benches”.

Mabe did not respond to our questions this week.

The three sources close to Shiceka confirmed that his department had seen an exodus of female ­employees. Other women were afraid to visit his office, they said.

City Press was also shown SMSes believed to have been sent by one of Shiceka’s lovers, who is unhappy with his “control freak” ­behaviour and “empty promises”.

When contacted, the woman laughed and asked whether City Press was “going to make me ­famous”. She would neither confirm nor deny the affair.

It has further emerged that Shiceka enjoyed an improper relationship with a top North West ­official at a bankrupt municipality whom he allegedly protected from being fired.

City Press was told it was unlikely that Shiceka would be fired by President Jacob Zuma because he was seen as being part of a powerful Gauteng ANC faction which ­includes ANC Women’s League president Angie Motshekga; her husband, ANC chief whip Mathole Motshekga; and former housing MEC Dan Mofokeng.

This group swung Gauteng behind Zuma at the 2007 Polokwane conference.

ANC and government insiders said Zuma treated Shiceka “like a favourite son”.

They likened the ­relationship to that of former ­president Thabo Mbeki and Manto ­Tshabalala-Msimang, Mbeki’s late health minister.

Sources said Shiceka had ­fathered a string of children, some of whom lived with him.

Parliament’s ethics committee this week announced an investigation into Shiceka for alleged abuse of public office, and has referred ­allegations of wasteful spending to the Public Protector.

Shiceka was exposed last week by the ­Sunday Times, which said he had spent more than R300 000 visiting his former girlfriend, who was serving a two-year sentence in a Swiss prison.

It also said he spent R6 400 000 in taxpayers’ money on luxurious hotel accommodation, in just one year.

This week Shiceka denied the ­allegations against him, saying he was the ­victim of a smear campaign by two ­unnamed former employees whose contracts had not been ­renewed: “There are two women whose contracts have ended.

They have vowed and threatened to go down with me.

I do not abuse abafazi (women),” was all Shiceka was ­prepared to tell City Press in a ­telephone interview.

His spokesperson, Vuyelwa Vika, said: “Minister Shiceka is on sick leave. Your questions would ­require us to consult him, but unfortunately he has been given leave to recuperate and as soon as he is well enough to resume his duties he will be in a position to guide and advise on the questions.

“The minister will cooperate fully with the office of the Public Protector to respond to the allegations made about him in the media.”

A source privy to the affairs told City Press the minister’s mistresses regularly complained about inadequate attention from him, and his philandering.

“It is a power thing. He sees them as sex objects. The problem with some of these women is that they like good things,” the source said.

City Press is in possession of a commission report marked “Top Secret” and presented to former North West premier Maureen Modiselle last August.

It describes an “improper relationship” between Shiceka and Nana Masithela, the chief financial ­officer of the bankrupt Madibeng municipality.

The report, compiled by a ­company hired to investigate graft in the municipality, claims ­Masithela accompanied Shiceka on a trip to Belgium last year and also visited him in Cape Town.

Top officials tell how Masithela threatened anybody in Madibeng – based in Brits and with a yearly budget of R1 billion – who dared to oppose her, saying that Shiceka was “protecting” her and she was untouchable because he had ­deployed her to the ­municipality.

On Friday Masithela invited City Press to a meeting to discuss her relationship with Shiceka, but she failed to keep the appointment.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
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