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Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Des Van Rooyen. Picture Credit: Gallo Images
Van Rooyen suddenly withdraws his interdict

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Mega told lies to media

By Riot Hlatshwayo | Aug 14, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

THE controversial Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency has been caught lying about an undue expenditure made to a communications company.

This was exposed during a press conference yesterday - in the process embarrassing MEC for economic development and planning Jabu Mahlangu .

Mega chief operations officer Elvis Rabokgale vehemently denied that the parastatal had paid a whopping R30000 to a communications company for answering questions by two media houses.

Vumacom, a Joburg company believed to have links with Rabokgale and Mega chief executive officer Nosizwe Nokwe, was paid the amount to answer questions from the African Eye News Agency and Ziwaphi, a local newspaper.

Sowetan posed a question to Mahlangu about the payments and he referred the question to Rabokgale.

Rabokgale said Mega never made such payments despite Sowetan being in possession of a documented proof.

"We deny having made such payments," Rabokgale told the press conference.

Mahlangu, Rabokgale and top officials from both Mega and the department were embarrassed when Sowetan produced proof confirming the transactions.

Another Mega official, Samantha Beresford, acting communications manager, became more embarrassed when Tom Nkosi of Ziwaphi blatantly referred to her as a liar after she claimed Vumacom was appointed to establish a good relationship with the media.

"You are lying Samantha," Nkosi said. "If the company was appointed to help Mega have a good relationship with the media, why did you send me an e-mail saying you were no longer ready to answer our questions.

Is it because we reported negatively about Mega?"

Mega had contracted Vumacom for a whopping R280850 a month for six months to deal with the media.

Meanwhile, Mega fired its secretary Petunia Morgan on Thursday last week while she was on sick leave.

Insiders at Mega accused top officials of abusing their power and having a hidden agenda against Morgan after she allegedly reported two of them for demanding sexual favours.

Morgan allegedly reported the "sexual harassment scandal" to then Mega board chairperson Phillip Dexter, who has also confirmed to Sowetan that the matter was brought to his attention.

He said those who expelled Morgan were the same people she had accused of sexual harassment.

Sowetan has established that Morgan was also fired for "booking accommodation and hiring a car" for Dexter during the Polokwane ANC conference in August 2007 despite the conference having taken place in December the same year.

Dexter said the accommodation and the hired car had been coordinated by his personal assistant and not Morgan as her charges alleged.

Morgan confirmed that she had been fired but refused to comment further, saying the matter was referred to Mahlangu for consideration and possible action.


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