Lucas reshuffled her cabinet last week, a day before the conference started, after she apparently came across evidence of corruption and allegations that R26 million was authorised by officials from the Department of Finance, Economic Affairs and Tourism and ANC members to fund the conference.
According to a Sunday newspaper, the money was to pay for the expenses of the conference, accommodation for delegates and T-shirts. Delegates from the ANC Women’s League complained that up to six delegates had to share a room in Colesberg and that there was not enough food. “Delegates and guests who were not supposed to be at the conference were also accommodated.”
It was estimated that accommodation expenses alone amounted to over R1 million.
ANC insiders pointed out that it was common practice at election time for government to pay out grants to businesses. “The businesses are then required to pay back the money, in order to fund the conference.”
Lucas replaced the MEC for Finance, Economic Affairs and Tourism, Mac Jack, with ANC Women’s League deputy secretary Gail Parker last week.
Jack was apparently summoned to see Lucas at her office on Wednesday, after he had already travelled to Colesberg.
At the time Lucas did not want to provide reasons for the cabinet reshuffle, which also saw the MEC for Transport, Safety and Liaison Pauline Williams being replaced with ANC MPL Alexandra Beukes. The spokeswoman for the Office of the Premier, Bronwyn Thomas-Abrahams, confirmed that the premier had met with the Hawks.
“The details of the discussion cannot be disclosed as it is subject to an investigation. The premier cited that she was motivated by various factors to do the reshuffle. The reasons will be disclosed in due course.”
The Department of Finance, Economic Affairs and Tourism could not be reached for comment day.
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