The DA will lay criminal charges of fraud and corruption against North West Premier, Supra Mahumapelo, and Denel CEO, Zwelakhe Ntshepe, following reports at the weekend that Denel gave Mahumapelo's son a R1.1 million bursary without following due process.
On Sunday, reports emerged that Ntshepe signed off on a bursary of more than R1 million for Mahumapelo's son to study at a prestigious Port Alfred aviation school. This, despite the school not being part of a list of accredited schools that Denel funding covers and that Denel bursaries have historically been allocated to the fields of IT, engineering, finances, and business management.
These allegations may point to a clear violation of the Public Finance Management Act (PMFA). And the DA will lay criminal charges against Mahumapelo and Ntshepe in terms of Sections 50 and 51 of the PMFA.
Section 50 states that the accounting authority may not " (b)use the position or privileges of... for personal gain or to improperly benefit another person" and Section 51 states that the accounting authority must "take effective and appropriate steps to ... prevent expenditure not complying with the operational policies of the public entity."
The DA welcomes Public Enterprises Minister, Pravin Gordhan's, request for the Denel board to institute an internal investigation into this matter. However, an internal probe is not enough. There must be a criminal investigation into this possible abuse public money.
The reality is that these monies could have benefitted underprivileged students who dream of obtaining tertiary qualifications.
Tomorrow, Mahumapelo will face a motion of no confidence as the Premier of the North West province, a motion which the DA supports. He has a long track record of allegations of fraud and corruption against him and has been identified as one of the individuals in the Guptas' pockets. It is high time he is removed as he does not serve the people.
The DA will not sit by and watch as corrupt officials steal the public's money at the expense of the poor. We urge the SAPS investigate these allegations thoroughly and should they prove true, to ensure that Mahumapelo and Ntshepe are brought to book.
Natasha Mazzone MP
DA Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises