ANC asks Public Protector to probe DA 'birthday party' funding

2017-05-22 22:12
Bonginkosi Madikizela (File, Netwerk24)

Bonginkosi Madikizela (File, Netwerk24)

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Cape Town - The African National Congress in the Western Cape has asked Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane to probe the funding of two Western Cape MECs' birthday parties.

The party in the province said it laid two separate complaints on Monday for what it deemed "seemingly illegal and irregular contributions" made toward the birthday parties of MECs Bonginkosi Madikizela and Nomafrench Mbombo.

Madikizela is MEC for Human Settlements and also acting Democratic Alliance leader in the province, while Mbombo is MEC for Health.

"It is unclear at the moment if these were the only two provincial ministers who accepted donations from service providers and contractors for birthday parties or celebrations and it is only an independent investigation by a credible and independent constitutional institution that can provide the necessary answers," said ANC Western Cape secretary general Faiez Jacobs.

"We trust that the Public Protector would prioritise this matter as the citizens of the Western Cape deserve full disclosure on these payments and contributions, its extent and scope and all those involved in... potentially criminal conduct."

'Due process'

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille on Monday noted a media report on allegations around the funding of Madikizela's birthday celebration.

"The premier is currently following due process to establish the facts of the matter. Should further action be required, this will be done in line with good governance practices."

The provincial government has extensive procurement monitoring systems in place," Zille's office said.

"This has enabled every provincial department, including Human Settlements, to obtain a clean financial audit.

"Provincial government systems exclude politicians from processes relating to the awarding of contracts."

'Storm in a tea cup'

Madikizela told News24 the allegations were "a storm in a tea cup".

"Clearly the ANC doesn't understand the role of the Public Protector, but I'm not surprised," he said.

"Faiez Jacobs' statement is mentioning by name only two ministers who happen to be black, as if other ministers do not host parties.

"This is a storm in a tea cup, I've already told the premier this morning that I'll co-operate fully with an investigation."

Madikizela allegedly received a surprise contribution for a birthday cake from a friend, who also did business with the province, the Cape Times reported.

The original media report said the cake cost R3 000. Madikizela told the daily newspaper that he earned more than R2m a year, and did not need help sponsoring any aspect of his birthday party.

* This article has been updated to include Madikizela's response.

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  helen zille  |  cape town  |  politics

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