The Citizen was sent this video of the ANC’s KwaZulu-Natal arts and culture MEC, Bongi Sithole-Moloi, secretly palming a snack of what looks like a piece of bread in the legislature and taking furtive nibbles at it during the sitting.
Her style would probably impress many a boarding school secret-classroom-snacking survivor. At one point she notices she’s on candid camera, but doesn’t seem to care as she solo-parties on.
The National Freedom Party’s spokesperson, Sabelo Sigudu, included the clip with a press statement criticising Sithole for being part of a proposal to hold a R1.2 million party for IFP president Mangosuthu Buthelezi, who turned 90 this year.
He said the R1.2 million to “sponsor the bash” was “too much”, pointing out that Finance Minister Tito Mboweni had called on government to rein in all wasteful spending.
“All bash/parties must be suspended and focus on education challenges, more especially on learners’ transport. We take note that there is a deficit in the present year of R125 million with respect to the arrangement of learners’ transport.
“Such shortfalls in funding year after are unacceptable while there are departments which are still failing to spend and prioritise their allocated funds. The allocation of monies on celebrations and bashes is compromising quality education for learners in this province.”
He said they respected Buthelezi but found it hard to believe the excuse that after Mthenje High School in Bergville was damaged by storms in 2015 and had its library burnt down by lightning in 2016 that there were no funds to revamp it.
They allege that Moloi is not paying attention to budget adjustments, instead preferring to focus on “eating inside the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature while the official sitting was proceeding”.
Sithole-Moloi is a former mayor of Umgungundlovu District Municipality who was voted out in a motion of no confidence by her own party in 2008 for the misappropriation of council funds and the appointment of unqualified people to senior positions.
She remained in and around government, however, landing another job in the province by the next year.
(Edited and compiled by Charles Cilliers)