Public protector: Limpopo deputy speaker to pay back phone bill

Busisiwe Mkhwebane (Madelene Cronje)

Busisiwe Mkhwebane (Madelene Cronje)

Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has recommended that deputy speaker of Limpopo provincial legislature Lehlogonolo Masoga pay pack a portion of an alleged R125 000 cellphone bill.

The announcement was one of the highlights as the public protector released seven reports in Pretoria on Monday afternoon. She said an eighth will be released on Tuesday morning.

READ MORE: Spooks inside Public Protector’s office

Complaints alleged Masoga racked up an exorbitant telephone bill of while on a trip to the United States. In 2015, the City Press reported that the bulk of the R125 000 bill came from from watching porn. Masoga has so far vociferously denied the accusation.

“The allegation that the deputy speaker incurred an exorbitant or unreasonable mobile telephone bill whilst on an official trip in the United States in August 2014 is substantiated,” she said. “The actual total bill incurred for the month of August was R138 701.99 which was inclusive of subscription services‚ roaming data usage‚ international roaming services‚ domestic data usage and value-added tax.”

“The allegation that the amount spent by the deputy speaker whilst on an official trip to the US was exorbitant or unreasonable is substantiated.”

The first report released regarded tender irregularities in a Northern Cape municipality. “I investigated alleged irregular and improper awarding of a security tender to Ikgodiseng Business Consulting CC by the Ga-Segonyana Municipality,” she said.

“The municipal manager must also consider taking appropriate disciplinary action, within 30 days from receiving my report, against all the bid adjudication committee members who were responsible for exposing the Municipality to acts of maladministration and financial risk.”

READ MORE: Public Protector admits to leaving out information from Vrede report

The City of Tshwane meanwhile was investigated for unfair labour practices in 2009. Mkhwebane recommended that the complainant in the latter, a paramedic, should be paid almost a year’s salary with 55% per annum interest. The City of Tshwane must also apologise.

A report into maladministration at the SA Nuclear Energy Corporation was also released.

See the full article on Mkhwebane’s Helen Zille recommendations HERE.

Luke Feltham

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