South Africa 12.8.2018 05:27 pm

DA happy Supra has ‘handed back the keys to the premier’s cars’

Former North West premier Supra Mahumapelo is seen at a press conference at Luthuli House, 23 May 2018, where he announced that he would be going on early retirement, thus leaving his post as premier of the North West Province. Picture: Michel Bega

Former North West premier Supra Mahumapelo is seen at a press conference at Luthuli House, 23 May 2018, where he announced that he would be going on early retirement, thus leaving his post as premier of the North West Province. Picture: Michel Bega

The former North West premier was allegedly continuing to enjoy many of the privileges associated with the job he went on ‘early retirement’ from.

The DA in North West said on Sunday they welcomed the apparent decision to withdraw the unusual privileges normally reserved for a sitting premier that were allegedly still being extended to former premier Supra Mahumapelo.

Until recently, Mahumapelo was still using official vehicles and VIP protection, McGluwa has claimed.

READ MORE: DA asks Mkhwebane to probe Supra for still rolling ‘like a premier’

“The former North West premier allegedly still benefits from security and vehicle privileges despite no longer holding public office.”

The DA’s leader in the province, Joe McGluwa, said that by allowing Mahumapelo to enjoy these privileges the ANC government had “once again proved that they are not concerned with serving the people of North West but more interested in protecting a man who was responsible for the collapse of governance and service delivery in this province”.

He said parliamentary support staff and researchers had on Tuesday briefed the ad hoc committee on national government interventions in the North West, and that it would take as long as 18 months to fix the damage in the province.

“The task team has reported that there were seven project management units that entered into illegal contracts in the premier’s office alone, which was under Mahumapelo’s leadership.”

McGluwa said Mahumapelo had for too long “milked the resources and bank accounts of this province, while the people of North West suffered without services and continued to live in poverty, without jobs”.

He said his party would attempt to hold government accountable for “allowing Mahumapelo to enjoy the benefits reserved for a sitting premier”.

He said they had written to legislature speaker Susan Dantjie for clarity on:

  • Whether the benefits granted to Supra Mahumapelo after his early retirement is in compliance with the Executive Handbook;
  • Whether the former premier has handed in his official passport and whether he undertook any trips after his early retirement using the official passport;
  • What the discussion was between Premier Job Mokgoro, Minister of Police Bheki Cele and the former premier regarding the handing in of the vehicles and whether it can be confirmed that the security threats against the former premier have subsided;
  • What were the costs of security and vehicles provided to the former premier since his early retirement to date;
  • How many security guards were withdrawn from service to the former premier since he went on early retirement;
  • What is the condition of the vehicles that have been handed in; what are the details, ie, models, descriptions, and trade-in value of the vehicles;
  • How many kilometres has the former premier travelled since his early retirement to date; and
  • When and where exactly were the vehicles handed in?

Earlier this month, McGluwa said he had written to the Office of the Public Protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebane, to investigate allegations that Mahumapelo, who is still the ANC’s provincial chairman, was still enjoying government benefits reserved for a premier.

“Those benefits should have been withdrawn the day he tendered his resignation.”

McGluwa alleged that the ANC believes that the “state is the ANC and that the ANC is the state”.

Last year, it emerged that Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma continued to receive VIP protection from the Presidential Protection Unit despite government previously stating that taxpayers would no longer be paying for the service after her term as the chairperson of the African Union ended in February.

At the time, she was – just like Mahumapelo is now – not a state official.

 

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