BISHO - New Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane on Wednesday vowed to clear his name after reports that he had received undue benefits relating to the upgrade of his home at Bunkers Hill in East London.
Mabuyane and his ANC colleague Babalo Madikizela were accused of benefiting from payments made to businessman Lonwabo Bam by the Mbizana Local Municipality for work that Bam’s plant hire company had not done.
Madikizela was the MEC of Human Settlements, and has since been re-elected as an MPL in the provincial legislature.
According to reports, Mabuyane is alleged to have received undue benefits.
According to the Mail & Guardian, Madikizela received a Bentley Bentayga which retails for about R4 million, while an East London draftsman named Allan Morran who revamped Mabuyane’s house was paid from the same account.
Speaking at the Premier's Office in Bhisho following his election as the provincial Premier on Wednesday, Mabuyane reiterated that he had a personal loan agreement with Madikizela at the time when the latter was not in government.
Following the allegations and Mabuyane’s subsequent election to be the Eastern Cape Premier, he said it became inappropriate for him to owe another member of the legislature.
Mabuyane said he had taken a bank loan to pay back the personal loan agreement with Madikizela.
"I have spoken to my bank to activate a loan facility to pay back that loan [with Madikizela] and clear it because after I was promised this position as the Premier I didn't want to have a situation where a Premier is owing an MPL. When this arrangement was made it was not in the public domain but now it became a matter that is in the public domain it then compromised all other arrangements that we have made and signed," said Mabuyane.
He said the matter would be investigated by the Eastern Cape treasury to uncover the “actual truth” about the money.
Earlier in the legislature, African Transformation Movement (ATM) MPL Veliswa Mvenya urged Mabuyane to prioritise investigation on the matter to clear his name.
"You should prioritise clearing your name by investing these allegations.
"It is not for us to say you are corrupt or not but we would love to see this province starting on a right footing which shows that corruption will not be tolerated," said Mvenya.
African News Agency (ANA)