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Deputy President Mashatile in Hot Water Over Corruption Allegations, to Address Parliament

Published March 29, 2024
1 months ago

South Africa's Deputy President, Paul Mashatile, is facing intense scrutiny over allegations of corruption linked to state tenders and the use of luxury properties, some tied to his relatives and acquaintances. The complaints lodged by the Democratic Alliance (DA) have elevated the issue to Parliament's joint committee on ethics and members' interests, with expectations for Mashatile to provide comprehensive answers next week.

DA chief whip Siviwe Gwarube, who placed the complaint, references reports by News24 that uncover Mashatile’s alleged misuse of luxury homes, including one valued at R37 million in Gauteng's affluent Waterfall area. Furthermore, investigations suggest Mashatile, through familial connections, reaped benefits from public tenders—a violation of governmental ethics and a potential conflict of interest undermining the integrity of his office.

These revelations, alongside an unyielding DA, have heightened political tensions. The situation reached the National Assembly floors, where MP Gwarube demanded Mashatile to account for the accusations of corruption. The Deputy President promised a response, adhering to a seven-day ultimatum imposed by the ethics committee.

Acting speaker Lechesa Tsenoli, however, interceded, deeming the request for an immediate response in the House as inappropriate, citing procedural requirements for formal allegations. Nevertheless, the weight of the claims persists, with Gwarube unfaltering in her pursuit of clarity and justice.

In an incendiary development, Hawks—the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation—have their eyes on Mashatile and his son-in-law, Nceba Nonkwelo, for their involvement in the procurement of an almost R30m mansion in Constantia under questionable financial circumstances.

Adding to the DA's pressure, party leader John Steenhuisen has laid criminal charges against Mashatile, who he believes sits at the core of a nepotistic web. Steenhuisen's move follows a series of corruption complaints against Mashatile that span decades, including a dubious R80m property buyback that the Deputy President allegedly orchestrated while serving as the Gauteng MEC for finance and economic affairs.

Despite circumstances that cast a shadow over his position, Mashatile's spokesperson, Vukani Mde, shares that the Deputy President remains "confident" of his exoneration from both state and ANC investigations.

As South Africa wrangles with episodes of corruption that continue to bleed into the political sphere, the nation's eyes are on this developing story, anticipating Mashatile's response. The outcomes of the parliamentary inquiry could have significant repercussions for the Deputy President's career and the broader fight against corruption in South Africa.

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