South Africa 11.7.2018 08:37 am

Magashule’s brother, daughter ‘score more millions’ from FS contracts – report

FILE PICTURE: Former Free State premier Ace Magashule, now the ANC secretary-general. Picture: Supplied.

FILE PICTURE: Former Free State premier Ace Magashule, now the ANC secretary-general. Picture: Supplied.

Further allegations of how profitable it was to be connected to the premier have emerged.

According to a report in Daily Maverick, ANC secretary-general and former premier of the Free State Ace Magashule has again been implicated in questionable state spending in the Free State involving his daughter that happened while he was still in charge of the province.

This time his younger brother has also been named as an alleged beneficiary.

In February, the Democratic Alliance (DA) charged Magashule criminally for his alleged role in facilitating an allegedly corrupt relationship between a company linked to his daughter, Thoko Malembe, and government.

It was alleged Magashule meddled in an RDP housing project in the Free State to ensure that a Chinese company, Unital Holdings, linked to his daughter secured a lucrative housing contract worth R150 million. Further allegations were that tender procurement processes were flouted to ensure Unital was paid nearly R70 million by the provincial human settlements department to oversee the project.

Magashule allegedly acted with senior provincial officials when interfering in the project in Bethlehem.

His daughter allegedly also questionably made R9 million from a property deal involving the Free State Development Corporation.

Now it has emerged that another company owned by Malembe scored contracts from a state procurement drive that “has cost taxpayers R300 million since 2016”, according to the report.

It’s also reported that Magashule’s younger brother Ezekiel’s company ME Construction was a beneficiary over the period.

Other senior ANC government leaders’ family members were also named as beneficiaries from the contractor development programme intended for grass cutting services paid for from a road maintenance grant.

A group of emerging companies told Daily Maverick they had been sidelined so that the politically connected companies could benefit from “gifts” of “bakkies, trailers and related equipment” and get contracts instead of them.

Malembe was born while her father “was in exile in the late 1980s,” writes Myburgh and “reunited with the then premier in 2011”.

ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe declined comment on questions about the allegations.

Last year, Magashule told the Mail & Guardian that laws governing how state officials are allowed to spend public money for service delivery and other causes “stifle radical economic transformation”.

He complained that the Public Finance Management Act has “long, tedious processes before you can actually achieve anything”. He added that, in his view, South Africa was trying to act too much like a “Western” country, instead of a developing country.

“If I had my power, I would just do things tomorrow,” he was quoted as saying.

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