Public Protector quizzes Zille on misuse of funds

Cape Town – Western Cape Premier Helen Zille has been questioned by the public protector about provincial human settlements MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela’s lavish birthday party, during which he apparently received a cake to the value of R3 000, and other unaccounted gifts.

The public protector will soon make the outcomes of the Madikizela investigation known.

This announcement was made by the ANC during a press conference on Wednesday. 

Pierre Uys, ANC Chief Whip in the provincial legislature, said that they laid a complaint with the Public Protector. 

Madikizela’s birthday party was held at the One & Only Hotel on March 11. The ANC alleges that birthday gifts were apparently given to Madikizela by donors who sponsored the party and hospitality. 

Uys said because Madikizela is a public official, all gifts that he is given, must be recorded with Western Cape Legislature’s registrar.

According to a letter from the Western Cape Provincial Parliament’s Registrar, which was addressed to Madikizela on June 15, Advocate Romeo Maasdorp (registrar) said that Madikizela submitted a “Disclosure of Members’ Interests” Form. 

In follow-up letter Madikizela responds that he does not know who paid for the venue where the party was held. In response to a question from Maasdorp of what the financial value the hospitality was he answered: “I can’t think of any beside the cake that I got to know about last month after the media story, if friends organise a surprise party you don’t ask who paid for what.”

Maasdorp further stated that in as much as the MEC duly responded to all the questions put to him, “it is respectfully submitted that his responses were not sufficient to fully absolve him from further scrutiny”. 

Khaya Magaxa, ANC Western Cape chairperson, said: “The ANC wants to get to the bottom of this scandal. It is clear from legislature records that Madikizela did not declare these benefits as required….

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