ANC-DA: the gloves are off

DA and ANC locked in battle over R100m land purchase

AKANI MANGENA

WHILE the ANC in Johannesburg is throwing every missile in its arsenal at unseating mayor Herman Mashaba, the Democratic Alliance in Limpopo has turned its attention on MEC for Co-operative Governance, Human Settlement and Traditional Affairs (COGHSTA), Makoma Makhurupetje.

The DA has accused Makhurupetje of seating on a forensic report indicating the purchase of land in Tubatse Municipality valued at over R100 million.

DA Provincial Spokesperson on COGHSTA, Jacques Smalle claimed that the Auditor-General conducted a forensic investigation into the purchase and its outcomes are wilfully concealed to protect senior officials within the department and the municipality.

“The Auditor-General conducted a forensic investigation into the purchase and its outcomes are concealed to protect senior officials within the department and the municipality,” Smalle said.

According to Smalle, the municipality sold the land to private developers for R4 million who in turn sold the land back to the department for a staggering R108 million.

The department has however refuted the claims. Evans Selomo, Departmental Spokesperson said they viewed the allegations as a stunt for media publicity by the DA.

“We must, however, state it clear that there is no forensic report on the land purchase matter as alleged by the DA.

“The issue of land purchase in Tubatse was never kept a secret by the government, as it was the department itself that ensured that the matter is officially disclosed in the audit report,” Selomo said.

In the heart of Africa’s economic hub, both the DA and ANC find themselves locked in yet another heated battle.

Mashaba has repeated his claims that the ANC is plotting to stop his administration’s mission to unveil the corruption left by the ANC during former mayor Parks Tau’s tenure.

The ANC, largely backed by the South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU) has filed a motion of no confidence in Mashaba. He, however, remains undeterred by the move and viewed it as a ploy to sweep the corruption under the carpet.

“There are some very serious cases underway, over R14, 5 billion worth of cases that involve their senior members and it is in their interest to find ways to stop me.

“This will also be a test for the opposition parties that voted me into power, to whether they support corruption or not,” Mashaba said.

The ANC has since taken the matter to court after the city’s programming committee said the motions against Mashaba and council Speaker Owen Da Gama could not be held by secret ballot.

Jolidee Matongo, Joburg Regional Spokesperson rubbished Mashaba’s claims that the ANC was trying to stop his mission root out corruption in the city.

“We support him in the fight against corruption and he must move with speed to prosecute whoever he finds involved in corrupt activities,” Matongo said.

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