Millions intended to be spent on the health needs of Eastern Cape residents have gone missing from d.
THERE seems to be no end in sight to the battle involving Gauteng leader of the DA Jack Bloom and the ANC in Gauteng after a decision by the speaker of the Gauteng legislature to suspend Bloom for five days.
Bloom has refused to apologise to the legislature and ANC chief whip and former health MEC Brian Hlongwa for accusing Hlongwa of buying a R7,2million Bryanston house through kickbacks from 3P Consulting managing director Richard Payne.
This week Bloom told Sowetan he would never apologise for doing his job
"I am doing my job. I am exposing corruption in the health department. So far I have been proven to be right about every claim I have made about 3P Consulting.
"For me it's a freedom of speech issue. I will never apologise."
The ANC in Gauteng said it supported the speaker's decision to suspend Bloom because his "arrogant conduct has become unbearable".
The tiff between Bloom and the ANC started earlier this year when he wrote to public protector Lawrence Mushwana questioning how Richard Payne, the chief executive of 3P Consulting, could represent the then MEC for health in a meeting about the purchase of a R7,2million house when Payne's company had won a R373million contract from Hlongwa's department.
In response Hlongwa said he did not need to use his position as MEC to make money. He said his private companies made 10 times what he was earning as MEC. He was later forced to apologise to the ANC for his remarks.
Hlongwa subsequently laid a counter-charge with the public protector accusing Bloom of defaming him. Mushwana referred the matter to the Gauteng legislature's integrity commissioner Jules Browde.
Browde presented a report to the legislature's privileges and ethics committee chaired by deputy speaker Steward Ngwenya. The report cleared Hlongwa and recommended that Bloom apoligise to Hlongwa.
But Bloom questioned the vailidity of the report, arguing that no attempt was made to probe the legitimacy of Hlongwa's other sources of income.
Hlongwa merely apologised for reporting late that he had decorated his house.
On September 15 Bloom refused to apologise to the legislature and Hlongwa, while the Browde report was adopted.
The legislature gave Bloom two months to apologise.
This week Bloom's lawyers sent a letter to speaker of the legislature Lindiwe Maseko informing her that Bloom was to make an urgent application in the South Gauteng high court asking the court to order the legislature not to adopt the Browde report. In turn Maseko suspended Bloom.