National

Supra Mahumapelo got travel agency cash

Michelle Pietersen

Mahumapelo has pocketed at least R200000 through his travel agency's business dealings with an ailing municipality in the province.

Businessmen and politicians had accused Mahumapelo – who is also the speaker of the legis­lature – of having used the ANC’s name to earn almost R500 000.

Last month the Mail & Guardian reported that businessmen and politicians had accused Mahumapelo – who is also the speaker of the legis­lature – of having used the ANC’s name to earn almost R500 000. The figure included ­donations from the Madibeng municipality for his personal use – including the launch of his debut CD earlier this year.

Now there are questions about his dealings with Diphateng Tourism Enterprises, which he registered in 2007. Documents show the company received payments worth at least R209798 from the Tswaing municipality in Delareyville in 2009, during which time Mahumapelo served as ANC provincial secretary. The company was later transferred to his wife and continues to operate in North West.

The company handled the travel arrangements for the then mayor of Tswaing, Manketse Tlhape. In one instance it charged the municipality R18426 for two business-class return tickets from Johannesburg to Cape Town for Tlhape and a colleague. The municipality also forked out R21831 to hire a car for four days in late July 2009.

An invoice from August and September 2009 shows the municipality racked up a bill of R116263 that included flights to Gaborone at a cost of R5146, car rental of R73138 and a stay at a Pretoria hotel for four days at a cost of R21926.

Comrades
The company made nearly R210 000 from July to November 2009 from the Tswaing municipality contract.

Sources in the province, who did not want to be identified, said Mahumapelo was close to Tlhape and that she was deployed in the municipality to ensure that a stream of business was directed to him.

Mahumapelo could not be reached for comment, but his spokesperson, Mongezi Tsenca, said the relationship between Tlhape and Mahumapelo was “purely that of comrades”.

He said: “All questions related to Diphateng Tourism Enterprise cannot be answered by Mr Mahumapelo, but by the owner of the said business. Further, the general practice is that the awarding of business to any entity is a competency of the municipal ­supply-chain unit.

“This unit is best placed to respond to what informs their decision of choosing a particular service provider. Unless otherwise proven, no service provider sits in any municipal bid committee or supply-chain unit.”

Officials at the municipality could not be reached for comment and Tlhape did not respond to questions sent to her.

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