Limpopo govt still deciding on future of spokesperson accused of leaking info to EFF

2018-11-05 22:42
Limpopo Premier Stan Mathabatha. (Sandile Ndlovu, Gallo Images, Sowetan, file)

Limpopo Premier Stan Mathabatha. (Sandile Ndlovu, Gallo Images, Sowetan, file)

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Phuti Seloba is still the Limpopo government's spokesperson, for now, after initial confusion on Monday over the legality of his possible suspension for allegedly leaking confidential information to the EFF.

It is understood that the matter dominated discussion among government lawyers as there were fears that there were loopholes in a letter handed to Seloba informing him of a possible suspension last Thursday.

He was given until Monday, November 5, to make representations on why he should not be suspended.

READ: Limpopo govt spokesperson faces suspension over allegations of leaking documents to EFF

Premier Stan Mathabatha's spokesperson, Kenny Mathivha, confirmed that Seloba responded to the letter.

"Yes, he made representations, but the decision has not been taken yet."

News24 was reliably told that Seloba responded, demanding that authorities furnish him with the allegations against him. The letter informing him about the possible suspension did not contain the allegations.

Accusers challenged to 'come clean'

Contacted for comment, Seloba confirmed that he had responded to the letter.

"I responded. However, I believe that the media statement that was released (last Thursday) about my possible suspension was a smear and defamatory."

In an interview last week, Seloba vowed to fight his possible suspension, saying "there is no logic in suspending me."

"I challenge the accusers to come clean. I'm dealing with a bunch of people conniving against me. I needed this investigation long ago because rumours have been there for some time. It (the investigation) came at the right time," Seloba said.

At the centre of the matter are allegations made by the EFF's provincial chairperson, Jossey Buthane, who posted messages on social media alleging that Seloba had approached him on several occasions since 2017 and made serious allegations against Mathabatha and certain MECs.

Buthane said Seloba told him that the premier sometimes missed appointments and meetings, including those for which accommodation arrangements had been made.

Wasteful expenditure, misappropriation of funds

"I spoke about this information in the (provincial) standing committee of public accounts in the presence of the premier and it wasn't denied. This was even in 2018," Buthane said.

He further said Seloba told him that the premier went on an international trip with a bodyguard and when he boarded a connecting flight, the bodyguard was nowhere to be seen.

"He told me the premier was not allowed to travel with bodyguards on international trips as the privilege was provided by the host countries. That constituted wasteful expenditure," Buthane said.

He also told of how Seloba provided him with information about irregular appointments at the department of sports, arts and culture under former MEC Onicca Moloi. Seloba also spilled the beans on the alleged misappropriation of R200 000 by MEC for roads and transport Mapula Mokaba-Phukwana.

The money was meant for security upgrades at the MEC's residence.

Read more on:    eff  |  phuti seloba

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