Mashatile’s response deadline nears

Deputy President Paul Mashatile faces mounting pressure as he prepares to address corruption allegations before the looming deadline set by Parliament. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu

Deputy President Paul Mashatile faces mounting pressure as he prepares to address corruption allegations before the looming deadline set by Parliament. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu

Published Apr 3, 2024


Deputy President Paul Mashatile’s tenure has been shadowed by allegations of wrongdoing, and Parliament has demanded answers as soon as possible.

In a time-sensitive development, Mashatile has been granted until Thursday by Parliament to address corruption allegations lodged against him.

The allegations, together with his alleged associations with those entangled in corruption scandals, have thrown Mashatile into the spotlight.

The Ethics Committee of Parliament issued the deadline last week, setting a strict timeline for Mashatile to provide a comprehensive response.

“The allegations, which have sparked widespread concern and a public outcry, demand urgent attention from Minister Mashatile.

“Failure to meet this deadline could result in further escalation of the matter, potentially leading to disciplinary action or legal consequences.”

As the deadline approaches, the nation eagerly anticipates Mashatile’s response, with heightened scrutiny on Parliament’s commitment to combating corruption and upholding ethical standards in governance.

On February 12, DA leader John Steenhuisen laid corruption complaints at the Cape Town Central police station against Mashatile concerning several transactions over several years dating back to his time as a Gauteng MEC.

The DA also submitted a formal complaint to Parliament’s Joint Committee on Ethics and Members’ Interests for a breach of the members’ Code of Conduct by Mashatile, for failure to disclose registrable interests, or for wilfully or grossly negligently, providing the Registrar with incorrect or misleading details.

“Mashatile also faces allegations of having misled Parliament for failing to properly declare his use of various properties, including a R37 million Waterfall house in Gauteng.

“In addition, Mashatile also breached the Code of Conduct by failing to act in all respects in a manner that is consistent with the integrity of their office or the government,” Steenhuisen said.

On March 28, Mashatile told the National Assembly that Parliament’s Ethics Committee had asked him to respond within a week.

However, he said that he is not concerned about the corruption allegations levelled against him.

Political analyst, Professor Dirk Kotze, said the ANC is trying to show the public at large that they are taking allegations of corruption, fraud, and unethical behaviour seriously by conducting an investigation into him. This is likely connected to the speaker's current situation.

“Mashatile is not sort of at the centre of the ANC, despite the fact that he is the deputy president. He was not on the Ramaphosa side when he was elected deputy president; he was elected because the two pro-Ramaphosa candidates, including Ronald Lamola, actually split their vote.

“So Mashatile came in with very few votes, about 300 out of the 4000 votes, and managed to get this position.

“If he were standing against just one other candidate, or a Ramaphosa candidate, the situation might have been very different. So his position in the ANC in terms of the Ramaphosa leadership is not as solid as it should be.

“The ANC leadership expects the deputy president to follow the same procedures in order to appear before the Integrity Commission, and President Ramaphosa also did so in order to clear himself of the Phala Phala accusations. In my opinion, this is why he must respond to the Ethics Committee as part of a regular process,” said Kotze.

Political analyst, Dr Levi Ndou, said allegations remain allegations unless proven otherwise. As long as there are no credible institutions of government that have made pronouncements, any allegations would mainly be such that you can only act when there is concrete evidence in front of you.

“The allegations as presented appear to be very serious, but we need to distinguish between allegations and facts, so if there are no facts presented, they will remain allegations.”

Ndou said there was no correct timing for the instructions of government work; one can say it might be an election strategy because it's happening now, but the bottom line is that there has been talk about these allegations for quite some time and because Parliament is coming to the end of its term.

“I think someone wanted to ensure that such issues were actually addressed before the elections. As for his career as a politician, it will be reformed by the credibility of the facts presented.

“Such will remain allegations and smear campaigns unless concrete evidence is presented, and it has the potential to dent his career.

“The other aspect is that these politicians are supposed to focus on elections, so they might not have sufficient time to do an investigation and do the campaigning at the same time, but it is an urgent matter.

“The allegations would have an impact on the ruling party only if they were proven to be correct. That is why some would say they could be bringing these allegations to distract the ruling party from doing their work and to also distract the deputy president.

“So in the absence of facts, some would actually see this as just a smear campaign. But at the same time, we need to put an emphasis on matters relating to openness, transparency, and accountability, which is what these parties are actually doing.

“So the deputy president also has to assist all of us by ensuring that all the necessary information is presented to the relevant people,” said Ndou.

The Star

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