Gauteng Arts and Recreation MEC rubbishes DA’s corruption allegations
Durban - The MEC of Sport, Arts and Recreation in Gauteng, Mbali Hlophe, rubbishes allegations of corruption levelled against her by Democratic Alliance's Kingson Chabalala who is a member of the Legislature in Gauteng.
Chabalala alleges that the MEC may have acted improperly as the event was not budgeted for nor was it part of the department's programme.
In a statement issued by the DA, the party calls for an investigation into the DSTV Food and Music Festival project, to establish whether the MEC directly influenced the department to spend R2,5 million of the Taxpayer on the said event. The DA further alleges that the MEC personally facilitated the deal and initially paid R2 million plus an additional R500 000 a night prior to the event.
In a statement issued by the department, the office of the MEC denies any activity of corruption with regards to DSTV Delicious Food and Music Festival. The Delicous Food and Music Festival is one of the province's signature events, attracting more than 38 000 participants over two days annually in September. The event draws renowned international and local artists and chefs to the province.
Hlophe's deaprtment made it clear that the latest allegation against is yet another attempt to decampaign and tarnish the name of the MEC and that of the ANC.
"The unsubstantiated, gossip riddled statement reveals that DA MPL Kimgson Chabalala has rendered himself a peddler of the currently failing smear campaign against the MEC and her resolve to clean the Department" reads the statement.
The Department asserts that the project formed part of the Public Private partnership the provincial Department was embarking on to attract the a diverse demography to the government events and to ease financial spend on events by cost sharing with the private sector.
It is not the first the Hlophe stood accused of allegations of corruption, amongst other allegations, the MEC has been accused of paying half a million rands to Dr Tumi for a gospel concert he hosted a day before the March 2020 lockdown. Hlophe was also alleged to be a Director of a company said to have benefitted millions from the shocking PPE tender corruption. The MEC denied both allegations.
The provincial government reitirated its call for criticism but, decried the manner in which these unsubsntiated allegations were weaponised against the MEC.