Brian Hlongwa must go - EFF, DA

2018-06-29 12:44
Former Gauteng Health MEC Brian Hlongwa. (Photo by Gallo Images / Beeld / Felix Dlangamandla)

Former Gauteng Health MEC Brian Hlongwa. (Photo by Gallo Images / Beeld / Felix Dlangamandla)

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The Democratic Alliance and the Economic Freedom Fighters in Gauteng say they remain steadfast in their calls for the ANC's chief whip in the Gauteng legislature, Brian Hlongwa, to resign within 72 hours.  

On Thursday, Hlongwa survived a motion, put forward in the legislature by the DA and the EFF, for him to step down. The ANC voted against it.

The two opposition parties put the motion forward following the release of a report by the Special Investigative Unit (SIU) in May, which implicated Hlongwa and other officials in alleged corrupt activities totalling R1.2bn. The allegations date back to when he was Gauteng Health MEC between 2006 and 2009.

Read: 'Dragging out of case against Brian Hlongwa violates his rights ' – ANC Gauteng

ANC must take a stand

"The tabling of the motion today afforded the ANC the opportunity to take a firm stance against the rot within its ranks," DA Gauteng health spokesperson Jack Bloom said in a statement on Thursday. 

He said the report had been kept under wraps by former president Jacob Zuma, after the SIU handed it over last year, in an attempt to "negate damage to the ANC brand and protect Hlongwa". Zuma tasked the SIU in May 2010 with investigating the allegations.

Bloom said this was an opportunity for Gauteng Premier David Makhura to live up to his word and take a tough stance against corruption. 

"However, as to be expected, the Gauteng ANC has shielded Hlongwa from scrutiny and has in turn, endorsed the looting of public funds by members of its organisation." 

He said it was evident that the ANC was going to treat Hlongwa in the same way as former Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu.

"State looting has gone on for long enough. Those who steal from our people are not fit to serve in leadership positions. Hlongwa must go," he said.

Makhura must suspend Hlongwa

Gauteng EFF MPL Mandisa Mashego said, based on all the evidence from the SIU report, the party wanted the ANC to deal with Hlongwa the same way "they dealt with the rest of those whom [they] took decisive actions for wrongdoing".

She said Makhura should take another "bold decision", just as he had when he suspended Molebatsi Bopape, pending action by the provincial disciplinary committee (PDC).

"Now we implore on you [ANC] to act and remove Brian Hlongwa. If you refuse, you will be subjecting us and the entire citizens of Gauteng to torture, because the healthcare system in this province is in this mess because of him,” Mashego said.

The EFF said it would seek legal advice in the matter.  

New instructions to the NPA

On Thursday, the Gauteng ANC's provincial working committee (PWC) called on the party's integrity committee to speedily conclude the matter.

The integrity committee is expected to meet next month. 

ANC provincial secretary Hope Mankwana Papo said the party was of the view that the dragging out of Hlongwa's case undermined the democratic state's fight against corruption and "violates the right to speedy justice".

"We call on the criminal justice system to expedite the matter and bring closure on it (sic)," Papo said.

On Wednesday, the Hawks confirmed to News24 that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) had given it new instructions in its investigation into the alleged corruption.

Read more: Hawks given new instructions in former Gauteng Health MEC's corruption allegations

"There are new instructions that have been given to the investigating team by the NPA on the matter and investigations are ongoing," Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said.

"The new instructions remain confidential," he added.

In a statement released on Monday, Hlongwa said the report was nothing new and labelled it a ploy "to embarrass the Gauteng ANC".

Read more on:    da  |  npa  |  anc  |  eff  |  brian hlongwa  |  corruption

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