The ANC finds itself in another predicament with complaints about its alleged selective morality regarding some leaders, particularly in the Eastern Cape, who remain in positions of power even though there are allegations of improper conduct against them.
In the latest complaint, businessperson and party member Lonwabo Bam has asked why the national executive committee has not instructed Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane to step aside.
Bam’s letter to the party’s highest decision-making body (outside of national conferences) questions why Mabuyane has not stepped aside while the public protector is investigating serious allegations against him and two others.
“Indeed we have seen ANC Gauteng PEC [provincial executive committee] taking very progressive decisions against some of their own asking them to step down pending the outcomes of the investigation of the allegations against them as per the 2015 NGC [national general council] resolution and reaffirmed by the 54th national conference of the ANC in Nasrec 2017.
“The PEC of the ANC in the Eastern Cape has done the same with Comrade Andile Lungisa. He resigned. So all I’m asking for is consistent leadership. There are serious allegations before three members of the ANC Eastern Cape PEC. However, they are still occupying top government departments despite the serious allegations against them,” said Bam in a letter to the office of ANC secretary general Ace Magashule.
ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe confirmed that Magashule did receive the complaint, but did not respond to the Mail & Guardian’s questions about the allegations of selective morality.
Bam had submitted two affidavits to the Hawks and public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane claiming that he was instructed to send a R1.1-million invoice to the Mbizana municipality even though he had not done any work.
The M&G has previously reported about Bam’s claims that part of the money he received from Mbizana was used to pay for renovations at Mabuyane’s East London home. Bam also alleged that some of the money was used to help buy a Bentley Bentayga, which was bought by the Eastern Cape public works MEC Babalo Madikizela.
Bam had attached to his affidavit WhatsApp messages between himself and Madikizela showing the banking details of car dealer LSM Distributors Randburg for the purchase of a Bentley worth about R4.4-million, as well as the banking details of an East London draftsman who did the renovations at Mabuyane’s home.
But Madikizela, who was a close friend of Bam, argued that he had only asked for the money because Bam owed it to him and not as a kickback from a tender.
The Sunday Times recently reported that the public protector was investigating these allegations. Bam had been summoned in February to Mkhwebane’s office for an interview, and Mabuyane and Madikizela confirmed having responded to that office’s queries regarding the allegations.
In a second affidavit, Bam also made allegations of improper conduct against Eastern Cape transport MEC Weziwe Tikana-Gxothiwe and Mabuyane’s chief of staff, Baphelele Mhlaba, in another tender. Both have also previously stated that they have responded to the public protector’s office.
Tikana-Gxothiwe has come under fire recently after it emerged that her husband had benefited from a sum of R1.6-million from the supply of Covid-19 personal protective equipment (PPE) from the province’s education department.
In Gauteng, the health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku and presidency spokesperson Khusela Diko were asked to take leaves of absence regarding a PPE scandal involving Diko’s spouse. The PEC also referred the scandal to the ANC’s integrity committee. Two weeks ago Masuku appeared before the committee as part of the investigation into the PPE allegations in the province. Yet no such action has been taken against members who have been accused in the Eastern Cape.