International relations minister Lindiwe Sisulu is being sued by the City of Johannesburg for unpaid electricity and water bills at one of her properties in Gauteng, reports Sunday Times.
According to the publication, Sisulu racked up the massive bill when she was Human Settlements Minister in 2014, while Johannesburg was still run by the ANC.
The bill amounts to R537,000.
The City of Joburg has reportedly filed to sue Sisulu in the Johannesburg High Court.
Despite the bill racked up at the property, which is being blamed on a tenant renting the property at the time that failed to pay utility bills, Sisulu was able to sell the property, after an unnamed senior official claimed that Sisulu’s debt was illegally cancelled in 2015.
In 2015, the debt was said to be R285,000, but since increased due to the interest incurred between non-payment of both Sisulu and the tenant, over the past few years.
Sisulu said that the tenant was meant to be billed for the massively overdue utility bills, and that she was in fact not aware that the tenant was not paying water and lights bills.
She remains adamant that she is not liable to pay for the outstanding debt, she said through her spokesperson Ndivhuwo Mabaya.
Mabaya questioned why the City of Joburg had not disconnected the tenant after numerous non-payments, and said that the City of Joburg wanting to sue Sisulu is nothing more than “cheap politics”.
City of Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba stands firm that Sisulu is liable, and insists she needs to pay the outstanding debt she owes to the City, he told Sunday Times in a statement.
Mashaba added that the senior official’s act of cancelling Sisulu’s debt, who has alleged ties to the ANC, was unlawful, and that this implicated Sisulu, as she owned the property.
He also said that the City of Joburg was considering reporting the unnamed former city official.
In 2017, Sisulu campaigned for former president Jacob Zuma to undergo the ANC’s disciplinary process because he brought the party into disrepute, she revealed in an interview with EWN.
“I have been insisting that there must be a disciplinary process so that if there is an interpretation that if you put the ANC into disrepute, that is an offence.”
She added that if Zuma were to be found guilty of alleged scandals, he should be suspended.
(Compiled by Nica Schreuder)