'I owe nothing!' says Qedani Mahlangu
Former Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu is disputing whether she owes any money to the Gauteng government‚ claiming that no security upgrades were done to her home.
Last week‚ it was revealed in an answer to the Democratic Alliance's Jack Bloom's question in the Gauteng legislature that Mahlangu owes R51‚558 to Premier Makhura. This is because security-guard costs and security upgrades to her house after 2014 breached the legal limit of R200‚000.
But Mahlangu's lawyer‚ Angelo Christophorou‚ said no security upgrades were done after 2014 on Mahlangu's home in Oriel‚ Bedfordview.
He said Mahlangu sent a letter to the premier's office asking for proof that upgrades were made.
"My client responded to the premier in a letter written on 18 October‚ where she disputed [the claim of security upgrades]‚" Christophorou said. "She has requested invoices or any records to substantiate the allegation of security upgrades having been done after 2014."
Mahlangu is yet to receive a reply from the premier's office‚ and has not seen any evidence that the security upgrades were implemented.
Christophorou said that while‚ as far as they understand it‚ Mahlangu doesn’t owe money‚ she had been given until June 2018 to pay any amounts she does owe back to government.
Therefore‚ he concluded‚ it cannot be said that she has failed to pay back any money.
DA spokesman on Health Jack Bloom‚ quoting the Gauteng legislature‚ told the media that Mahlangu owed R51‚558 for her expensive security upgrades.
Bloom said in a release that: "She is currently ducking her obligation to appear before the Esidimeni arbitration hearings‚ and I hope she doesn't try to avoid paying the money she owes to the provincial government."
Mahlangu has since confirmed through her advocate‚ Stanley Pincus SC‚ that she will testify at the Life Esidimeni hearings between January 22 and 26.
The premier's office had failed to respond to queries by the time of publication.