Opposition wants Madikizela to resign for lying about BCom degree
Cape Town - Transport and Public Works MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela’s has been suspended with immediate effect from the provincial cabinet for two weeks following revelations that he lied on his CV about a degree he doesn’t have.
His head is still on the chopping block as senior leader within the DA.
In a terse statement on the issue, Madikizela said: “In light of the Daily Maverick article, I take full responsibility that I didn’t correct the information on my bio. It is true, I didn’t finish my BCom degree, but that is not a requirement for a political office in South Africa.
“This didn’t benefit me in any way in the positions that I’m currently occupying, that I previously applied for, the premiership and the position I’ve applied for, mayor of Cape Town, because it was never a requirement.”
In a statement, Premier Alan Winde said: “I met with MEC Madikizela yesterday afternoon, where I raised my concerns with him and asked for an explanation.
“During that meeting I made clear that acting with integrity is non-negotiable to me, and to the people of the Western Cape. I also made clear that I believe in fairness and due process, where all the facts are properly considered.
“I have taken the decision to suspend MEC Madikizela while an investigation determines all the facts. Once I have all the facts, I will make a final decision regarding Minister Madikizela and his role in my cabinet.”
The suspension doesn’t bode well for Madikizela’s chances to be the DA candidate for mayor of Cape Town in the coming local government elections, with some believing that the leak about his CV came from those who want to scupper his chances.
The matter has been referred to the DA’s Federal Legal Commission for investigation.
DA Federal Council chairperson Helen Zille said: “The DA regards this in a serious light and will follow due process in establishing the facts and taking consequent follow-up action.
Leading the calls for Madikizela to go, leader of the opposition in the legislature Cameron Dugmore (ANC) said: “I am truly shocked at the MEC’s response. My call for the premier to suspend MEC Madikizela clearly remains as the MEC’s statement confirms that he fraudulently submitted his CV.
“The issue is not whether the degree was a requirement to become a mayoral candidate. The issue is that he fraudulently claimed that he had a BCom. This was clearly intended to promote his prospects. The fact that the MEC sees nothing wrong with this confirms our view that he is not fit for office.”
Good party MPL Brett Herron said: “It is true that there is no entry level qualification to hold public office.
“There is, however, an obligation to be truthful when you occupy executive office in South Africa and he’s been appointed to executive office three times using a false qualification. It is also unlawful and dishonourable to lie about your qualifications.”
Political analyst Ralph Mathegka said: “The fact is that he misrepresented his qualification, and deliberately so. There is a big difference between a completed and uncompleted degree, he lied.”
Meanwhile the DA postponed mayoral candidate interviews in Cape Town on Monday after a disagreement arose over the selection panel. The three candidates are current Cape Town mayor Dan Plato, Madikizela and MP Geordin Hill-Lewis.
Political scientist Ntsikelelo Breakfast said: “Putting aside the right or wrong of what Madikizela did, the fundamental problem and what put the cat among the pigeons is definitely the mayoral race.
“There is definitely more to this whole affair than meets the eye. It is possible there are some in his party who saw his mayoral candidacy as a threat. Madikizela would have had the upper hand in the contest by virtue of being black and this did not fit with the strategic interests of some people.”
Mayor Dan Plato’s campaign spokesperson Rob Quintas said: “Mayor Plato has no comment on the matter as he is not in a position to discuss other candidates.”
The third candidate in the running, Hill-Lewis, said: “I really want nothing to do with mudslinging. I admire and respect both of my fellow contestants.”