Mbalula's Dubai trip: ANC, DA welcome Public Protector's findings

2018-12-19 22:20
Busisiwe Mkhwebane.

Busisiwe Mkhwebane. (Foto: Argief)

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The ANC and DA welcomed Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's findings against former sport and recreation minister Fikile Mbalula

Mkhwebane found that a trip Mbalula had taken to Dubai in 2017, when he was still a minister, was paid for by a company conducting business with sports governing body Sascoc (South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee), creating a conflict of interest.

She made the announcement on Wednesday during the release of several of her office's investigations.

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The ANC's acting spokesperson, Zizi Kodwa, said the party believed that ethical leadership was a cornerstone in building a resilient society.

"This responsibility is more onerous for ministers of state who are entrusted with managing public resources."

He said the party appreciated that Mbalula had the right to challenge any aspect of the report and take it under judicial review if he felt aggrieved. However, this did not take away the points Mkhwebane raised.

"The ANC reaffirms its support and confidence in the Office of the Public Protector and all our constitutional entities entrusted with the role of being custodians of our constitutional values."

Celebrity or minister?

Meanwhile, DA MP Tsepo Mhlongo said Mbalula abused his position to live a flashy lifestyle.

"He fancied himself as a celebrity rather than a minister mandated to serve the interests of the people."

Mhlongo said the DA also welcomed Mkhwebane's referral of the findings to the National Prosecuting Authority for investigation.  

Mkhwebane said Mbalula violated the Constitution and the Executive Members Ethics Code by allowing Sedgars sporting goods supplier to pay for the holiday.

The DA said it was crucial that the investigation be prioritised and that Mbalula be held accountable for his actions.

"While the DA has long held that the Public Protector is not fit for office, it is clear that this violation on the part of Mbalula was so obvious that even she could not soft peddle it," Mhlongo added.

Read more on:    public protector  |  da  |  anc  |  politics
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