Calls for Public Protector to probe MEC Mshengu vehicle scandal

Dear Durban

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has today called on KZN Premier, Sihle Zikalala to urgently investigate claims that the province’s Education MEC, Kwazi Mshengu, spent thousands of rands of taxpayers’ money on hiring a vehicle, rather than using one allocated to him.

The allegations, which came to light in a media report yesterday, include the claim that the MEC refuses to use the car used by his predecessor on the basis that it is ‘unroadworthy’ and that he cooked up a scam, including a fraudulent letter from Mercedes Benz, to corroborate this.

Reports also state that the MEC has spent an estimated R500 000 on transport since taking office in May.

This simply beggar’s belief.

The DA regards the allegations against MEC Mshengu as extremely serious. That he may have abused his office while also fleecing taxpayers’ money is cause for considerable alarm. Not only would this be a gross abuse of his office and the powers and privileges accorded in law, it would also constitute malfeasance of the highest order by a senior public office bearer.

Meanwhile, the claim that he refuses to use the vehicle allocated to him – which remains parked and unused at his offices – while concocting an elaborate scheme to ensure that he receives another vehicle requires an urgent investigation.

It cannot be that pubic representatives who hold high office are involved in such malfeasance. Yet this has become common-place when it comes to ANC office bearers.

The DA expects the Premier to look into this issue as a matter of urgency and to report back to the Legislature. In the event that the MEC is found wanting, we expect him to do the right thing and fire him immediately.

Regrettably, this issue cannot be left with the Premier alone for the simple reason that a fair and impartial process cannot be guaranteed given the political connections and camaraderie involving his Comrade who he deployed to his Cabinet.

It is for this reason that the DA has today written to the Public Protector (view here) to investigate this matter. We expect that the PP will look into this matter expeditiously and make her findings available without procrastination.

The DA remains committed to monitoring the outcome of both investigations and to reporting back to the people of KwaZulu-Natal, who deserve to know exactly how their hard-earned money is being spent.

Regards

Dr Imran Keeka MPL
DA KZN Spokesperson on Education

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