DA MPLs clash publicly over Madikizela birthday bash

31 July 2017 - 14:26 By Jan-Jan Joubert
MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela. Aletta Gardner/EWN
MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela. Aletta Gardner/EWN
Image: Aletta Gardner/EWN

The registrar of members' interests in the Western Cape legislature has recommended "further scrutiny" of acting DA provincial leader Bonginkosi Madikizela's lavish birthday party in March.

This comes after Madikizela pleaded ignorance to most aspects of the party which was held at Cape Town's swanky five star One and Only Hotel.

Registrar Romeo Maasdorp found that Madikizela "improperly placed the norm between him and his friends (regarding gifts) above the duty-bound obligation visited upon him by the prescripts of the code of conduct" of the legislature.

He recommended a probe into why Madikizela's R3‚000 cake - a gift - was not declared. In addition he said they should investigate all the other party courtesies and gifts‚ whether it should have been declared‚ what is was worth‚ who funded the party and the nature of the relationship between Madikizela and those behind the gifts.

On Friday‚ the legislature's conduct committee‚ which is roughly equivalent to the parliamentary ethics committee‚ agreed to continue its investigation into Madikizela's conduct at its next sitting on August 18.

The postponement ignited friction between DA chief whip Mark Wiley and committee chairman Lennit Max who will be Madikizela's opponent for the provincial leadership at the elective DA provincial congress in October.

Wiley wanted to expedite the matter‚ but Max granted Maasdorp's request for further investigation. Max also encouraged Maasdorp to extend his investigation beyond questioning Madikizela to‚ for instance‚ questioning the hotel management.

Wiley was adamant that the matter should be handled speedily and not in such a ''drip for drip'' manner that it festers.

 

Wiley stopped a discussion about Madizela's partner‚ Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo. They had planned to speak about her role in the matter. He asked that this discussion be held over as the allotted time for the meeting had expired.

Wiley accused Max of trying to "slip in" Mbombo's role into the meeting‚ at which point Max told Wiley to stop casting aspersions on his chairmanship.

"I am here to enforce the code of conduct to which all of us - including myself - must adhere‚" said Max.

ANC MPLs Pierre Uys and Richard Dyantyi called for full disclosure.

 

In his report‚ Maasdorp found that Madikizela was unclear about what additional gifts he received from friends and colleagues. He was also in the dark about the value of the gifts from those who had a business relationship with his department.

"The MEC (Madikizela) does not know whether payment for the venue was made‚ and he did not ask either.

"Other than the birthday cake‚ it is unclear from the MEC's responses whether or not parts of the event‚ or the venue‚ were in fact sponsored by friends‚ colleagues or the hotel management‚ and if so‚ what the value thereof is‚" the report finds.

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