Politicians can run businesses – Mojapelo

FILE PICTURE: ANC supporters at the Lucas Moripe stadium in Atteridgeville. Picture: Christine Vermooten

FILE PICTURE: ANC supporters at the Lucas Moripe stadium in Atteridgeville. Picture: Christine Vermooten

There is nothing wrong with having a business while being a member of a political party, ANC Tshwane regional secretary Paul Mojapelo said on Tuesday.

“I’m not in government, I’m just a member of the ANC who happened to have a business,” Mojapelo told Sapa.

He was replying to allegations that his consulting company had received R75 million in contracts from the Tshwane municipality in the past two years.

“I’m not a councillor or a mayor, I’m not in council. There is nothing wrong with me having a business.”

The soft-spoken Mojapelo said he had no objections to an investigation being carried out on him.

“I’ve got nothing much to say. If there is an investigation I am okay with that.”

On Friday, the Mail & Guardian reported that a company owned by Mojapelo allegedly earned over R75m over two years for consulting on behalf of the Tshwane municipality.

Mojapelo’s company, Paul & Partners Engineering, was among 32 engineering consultants appointed by the city. The company allegedly invoiced the municipality every month since March 2012, according to records of financial transactions in the newspaper’s possession. A source said the firm was receiving preferential treatment.

“This company is getting guaranteed work on a monthly basis. The ‘as and when’ we need you contract is supposed to be on a rotational basis with other suppliers,” the source was quoted as saying.

Another unnamed municipal employee was quoted as saying that none of the other companies had benefited that much.

Mojapelo told Sapa on Tuesday he was not involved in tender processes.

“As far as I am concerned, I have got nothing to do with… appointing contracts or service providers,” he said.

Mojapelo admitted to doing work for the city, but denied any corruption.

“Yes, I do invoice the city for the work that I’ve done, and then it goes through the necessary processes,” he said.

“I’m not sure where they got the R75m figure from. I’ve requested my office to verify that figure.”

The Economic Freedom Fighters in Gauteng have called on authorities to investigate the allegations.

“The continuous use of consultants in this country and Gauteng, in particular, has done nothing but create a lot of problems and open the gate of corruption,” the party’s provincial convenor Mgcini Tshwaku said.

“There is a serious need to build state capacity. Building state capacity will lead to the abolishment of tenders.”

Tshwaku said citizens deserved a response from the city on the allegations.

“The EFF will never let this matter rest. The City of Tshwane owes the people of Gauteng some explanation.”

Hawks spokesman Paul Ramaloko said the unit was not investigating the matter as no crime had been reported. He said matters relating to tender irregularities were mostly dealt with by the public protector, if a complaint had been lodged.

Special Investigating Unit spokesman Boy Ndala said they were not investigating the matter as they had not received a proclamation from the president to do so.

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s spokeswoman Kgalalelo Masibi and Tshwane municipality spokesman Blessing Ndala could not immediately be reached for comment on Tuesday.



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