Eastern Cape councillor fired for 'selling RDP house' and 'giving food parcels to friends'

Xolile Nqatha.
Xolile Nqatha.
  • Ward councillor Mbongeni Mabaso has been dismissed with immediate effect.
  • Eastern Cape Cogta MEC Xolile Nqatha found Mabaso guilty of violating the Code of Conduct for Councillors of the Municipal Systems Act.
  • He is the seventh councillor in 10 months to be dismissed by Nqatha for failing to adhere to the act.

An Eastern Cape ward councillor was fired on Monday for misconduct over allegations that he had sold an RDP house to a resident and for dishing out food parcels to friends, among other charges.

The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs announced on Monday that MEC Xolile Nqatha had dismissed Mbongeni Mabaso with immediate effect.

Mabaso, a Ward 4 councillor in King Sabatha Dalindyebo Municipality in Mthatha, was fired over allegations of selling an RDP house for R25 000 to a resident, submitting a list of housing beneficiaries without consulting residents, giving food parcels to friends and claiming stipends for non-functioning ward committee members.

Mabaso's charge sheet was as follows:
  • Fraud and corruption: A resident of Ward 4 alleged Mabaso owes her R25 000 which was transferred to his account after he promised to sell her an RDP house and evidence to this effect is available.
  • Housing development projects: It is alleged a housing project for 50 beneficiaries was identified for Ward 4 in 2016 upon which Mabaso submitted a list without consultation from ward stakeholders.
  • Food parcels: The community alleges Mabaso favoured his friends and political associates for provision of food parcels. There was no consultation with ward committees and CDW when selecting beneficiaries.
  • Remuneration of non-functional ward committees: It is alleged Mabaso failed to convene ward committee meetings as from early 2019, thereby making the ward committee structure redundant. Irrespective of this, all ward committees still get their out-of-pocket expenses at the end of the month although there are no ward committee meetings convened as prescribed by law.

Cogta spokesperson Makhaya Komisa said Mabaso was dismissed for allegedly violating the Code of Conduct for Councillors of the Municipal Systems Act.

"Mr Mbongeni Mabaso has failed to submit representation to the honourable MEC about the allegations levelled against him. The MEC has removed Mr Mabaso in terms of section 14[6] of the code of conduct applicable to councilors."

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Komisa revealed Mabaso was the seventh councillor to be removed by the MEC for failing to adhere to the Municipal Systems Act.

Five councillors were fired in the Walter Sisulu Local Municipality based in Burgersdorp and one in the Amahlathi Local Municipality in Stutterheim for similar violation.

Komisa said the councillors from Walter Sisulu and Amahlathi were fired around October and November 2019. 

Called for comment, Mabaso said: "I won't comment at this stage as I have not received such a communication from Cogta."

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