Premier’s wife linked to dismissal

Companies belonging to ­Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza’s wife,

Nohlanhla ­Patience Mnisi, and an ANC­ ­benefactor have been linked to the

controversial dismissal of a municipal manager.

City Press has also discovered that Mnisi’s business ­associate

Izak van der Walt’s company Pasqua Africa has courted a handful of

­controversies in other Mpumalanga municipalities over the past few years.

Sabelo Shabangu, the former manager of Nkomazi municipality in

Malalane, was fired last month for financial irregularities after a two-year

battle with the ANC-led council.

The council struck a deal with chief finance officer Sheila ­Mabaso

– whom Shabangu had accused of paying R1.8 million to Sithole Computer Services

for work it did not do – to be given ­indemnity if she testified against the

manager.

Sithole Computer Services ­belongs to Walter Sithole, an ANC member

who does work for the party and donates to it.

Shabangu had also raised an issue about Mnisi’s company,

­Sinamandla Consulting, which received ­a R2.7 million payment authorised by

­Mabaso even though it had ­allegedly failed to deliver on its job of managing

municipal ­infrastructure grant projects worth R44 million.

Shabangu declined to give a detailed comment, saying: “My union is

challenging my unfair dismissal.”

Sithole denied ever doing work in Nkomazi despite being made aware

that his company’s name was at the centre of the ­controversy.

He then asked City Press not to publish anything about him.

Last week we reported that Mabuza has been ­accused of dragging his

feet in ensuring that certain civil servants implicated in corruption were

brought to book because Mnisi and his customary ex-wife, Ruth Funi Silinda, have

business interests in those departments.

Mabutho Sithole, Mabuza’s spokesperson, said he could not comment

because he did not know “personal and private” ­details about the premier or his

wife’s business interests.

Sithole also said he could not comment on municipal issues because

they were an ­autonomous sphere of government.

City Press can reveal that Pasqa Africa has not only been involved

in controversies with its appointments in ­Ehlanzeni ­district municipality’s

R205 million building, but also in the Nkomazi and Thaba Chweu (Lydenburg)

municipalities.

Van der Walt is a former director of Sinamandla Consulting. Mnisi

took an 80% stake in the company in 2005.

The rest is owned by a Pasqa shareholder.

The two companies share ­offices.


Fact

box

City Press is in possession

of documents implicating Pasqa Africa or Van der Walt with irregularities in the

municipalities:


» In

2003, the Ehlanzeni district council took a resolution to investigate Van der

Walt after a company he represented, Likusasa Development CC, overclaimed on a

capacity building and training project for councillors. Van der Walt said he was

justified in this because additional work had been done. Like Sinamandla,

Likusasa shares offices with Pasqa Africa.


» Ebony Forensic Services found that Pasqa Africa

was irregularly appointed for a R1.5 million capacity building project in

Nkomazi municipality, and that personal interests of certain politicians in the

company’s contract encouraged the breach of procurement policies.


» Auditors KPMG found that Pasqa Africa’s

appointment for a municipal management support programme in Thaba Chweu in 2001

was questionable as the company overclaimed by R270 000 and did not meet all of

its contractual obligations.

 
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