SIU must investigate loans given to Deputy President Paul Mashatile’s son-in-law – DA Gauteng

Paul Mashatile. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu.

Paul Mashatile. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu.

Published Jul 15, 2023


The DA in Gauteng wants the Special Investigative Unit (SIU) to investigate allegations against the Gauteng Partnership Fund (GPF) following allegations that it awarded loans to those linked to Deputy President Paul Mashatile.

Mervyn Cirota, DA spokesperson on Human Settlements, said his party was demanding that Premier Panyaza Lesufi ask the SIU to investigate the Gauteng Partnership Fund (GPF).

“It is of utmost importance that the GPF be investigated by an independent body and not by officials within the Department of Human Settlements,” Cirota said.

He made the call despite the fact that Human Settlements MEC Lebogang Maile had launched an investigation into the matter. He said the DA feared political interference and that department officials would try to hide any wrongdoing, as had happened with many investigations undertaken by the Gauteng government.

“Furthermore, this investigation might take longer, resulting in those implicated resigning to escape disciplinary action. Recent media reports indicated that Mashatile’s son-in-law benefited from a housing loan from the GPF, which is an entity of the Gauteng Department of Human Settlements.

According to News24, the multimillion-rand house in question was registered on a 99-year lease under Legacy Properties, directed by Mashatile’s son, Thabiso, and son-in-law, Nceba Nonkwelo.

It is also thought that Nonkwelo Investments “received at least four loans from the Gauteng Partnership Fund totalling at least R30 million between 2013 and 2017 – overlapping with Mashatile's second stint as Human Settlements MEC”.

The report further states that the loans which Nonkwelo received were earmarked to “develop a property in Highlands, Johannesburg, for student accommodation but construction was allegedly never completed”.

“The loans that Mashatile’s son-in-law received were during the time he was Human Settlements MEC,” Cirota said.

“The SIU must launch an investigation as a matter of urgency. The investigation should look into all operations of the GPF from 2013 to 2023.

“It is unacceptable that friends and family members of high-ranking government officials unduly benefit from loans that are meant to uplift residents who are unable to access dignified housing without some assistance from the government.

“If the SIU finds that anyone has unlawfully benefited from any GPF loans, then this money must be fully recovered. Disciplinary action should also be taken against all the officials involved in awarding this loan, and a criminal investigation should be instituted,” Cirota said.

Mashatile has, however, in an exclusive interview with IOL, refuted claims of embezzlement, saying no malfeasance activities took place during his tenure as housing MEC.

Mashatile, who was sworn in as deputy president in March this year, said he was aware of a smear campaign aimed at proving that he was not the right person for the job.

“What people forget is that there are institutions that deal with that. In government, there are lifestyle audits. You declare where you live, what you own, and I've done that. So if people want to know whether I live a lavish lifestyle, they will get it from the lifestyle audits that are conducted on all of us.”

Mashatile laughed off suggestions that he was wealthy and that his family had unduly benefited from his previous roles in government.

Asked whether during his time in Gauteng, he had solicited any bribes or used his influence to broker deals, Mashatile replied: “Not at all.”

He added: “In fact, by next year I would have been in government for 25 years if I minus the five that I left to become the ANC treasurer-general. In the 25 years that I have been in government, I have never been accused of corruption. I have never been called to the State Capture Commission. I'm not a businessman. I don't have business partners.”

The ANC’s second-in-command highlighted that he ran many governments in the past.

“I was MEC for housing, police transport, you name it. In the national government, I was the minister of arts and culture. I have done big projects together with Tokyo (Sexwale) who began Gautrain as well as Mbhazima Shilowa. I ran and adjudicated a R26 billion project. There was no corruption. You can go and look at all the projects I did. No corrupt activities were reported.”

Mashatile said he was determined to see through the mandate he was given by those who elected him into office.

The Saturday Star