North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo. FILE PHOTO: ANA

Cape Town - The Democratic Alliance said on Monday it would bring fraud and corruption charges against North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo and Denel CEO Zwelakhe Ntshepe following reports that the company improperly awarded a lavish study bursary to the politician's son.

DA MP and public enterprises spokeswoman Natasha Mazzone said if the reports were true, the pair would have violated sections 50 and 51 of the Public Finance Management Act.

These dictate that an accounting authority may not abuse a position for personal gain and is obliged to prevent expenditure that does not comply with the operational policies of a public entity.

According to media reports at the weekend, Denel gave Mahumapelo’s son a R1.1 million bursary to study at a prestigious aviation school in Port Alfred, though the school is not on the list of accredited schools covered by funding from the arms manufacturer.

Mazzone welcomed a directive by Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan to the Denel board to launch an internal investigation into the matter.

"However, an internal probe is not enough. There must be a criminal investigation into this possible abuse public money. The reality is that these monies could have benefitted underprivileged students who dream of obtaining tertiary qualifications."

African News Agency/ANA