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Former Tourism Minister welcomes Public Service Commission probe into Somizi Mhlongo cook-off where DJ Shimza's venue allegedly cost R150 000 during her tenure

Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, Mmamoloko Kubayi has welcomed the probe into the DJ Shimza gig awarded by her department while she was minister. Bongani Shilubane / African News Agency (ANA)

Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, Mmamoloko Kubayi has welcomed the probe into the DJ Shimza gig awarded by her department while she was minister. Bongani Shilubane / African News Agency (ANA)

Published Dec 20, 2021

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DURBAN - HUMAN Settlements, Water, and Sanitation Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane says she’s not concerned about a Public Service Commission (PSC) probe into her alleged involvement in the irregular awarding of a government gig to DJ Shimza.

The PSC is reportedly investigating how Tembisa-born Ashley Paphala, known as DJ Shimza, who owns a restaurant in Tembisa, was awarded a R150 000 government gig for his venue for a cook-off with media personality Somizi Mhlongo-Motaung, allegedly hosted by the then tourism minister.

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“The PSC is required by law to attend to anything that goes through the hotline. Once a complaint is received, they write to a minister about it. I am sitting with more than ten of such nature in human settlements,” said Kubayi-Ngubane.

The Daily News has seen a letter sent to Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu informing her about the probe by PSC commissioner, Dr Bruno Luthuli, confirming that an investigation was under way following a complaint of alleged procurement irregularities at the department’s national office.

The commission mentioned that DJ Shimza had posted on social media and boasted about how he was called by the department, or being on the Department of Tourism’s database.

DJ Shimza’s attempt to put the matter to rest backfired two months ago when he accepted One Movement leader Mmusi Maimane’s challenge to engage Twitter followers, and explain his side of the story on how he had scored the gig without a hustle.

Shimza was forced to end his Twitter spaces after he claimed his lawyer had advised him to end the discussion in case he indirectly implicated himself.

In October, the PSC recommended in its 2020/21 annual report tabled in Parliament, that it wanted the National Anti-Corruption Hotline (NACH) to be toll-free for cellphone callers, because members of the public calling after hours did not get assistance from call centre agents.

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Some political parties have called for heads to roll should any wrongdoing be found.

National spokesperson for the Inkatha Freedom Party, Mkhuleko Hlengwa, said that if the investigation uncovered foul play, and tender procurement irregularities, the party expect those implicated to face the full might of the law.

“For the government to prudently manage the public purse, tender and procurement guidelines must be followed. It is encouraging to see that the public is making use of the anti-corruption hotline to report corrupt activities.”

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Leader of the African People's Convention (APC), Themba Godi, welcomed the probe and stated that any measure taken against corrupt or irregular financial practices should be welcomed.

“We hope this is not an isolated probe as we have seen the recent Auditor-General report indicating a blistering rise in irregular expenditure.

“The PSC has been sleeping at the wheel. A holistic response by PSC is needed to end this pandemic of irregular expenditure. This administration has generally failed to set a clear example of public expenditure management,” said the former chairperson of Scopa.

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