In another twist involving the public protector’s office‚ the Minister of Co-operative Governance an.
THE KwaZulu-Natal ANC supports steps taken by economic development MEC Mike Mabuyakhulu to sort out problems at development finance corporation Ithala.
ANC provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala said yesterday: "The provincial executive committee supports all the interventions that have been made by the MEC and is fully behind him in his endeavour to turn the financial fortunes of Ithala around."
The ANC's alliance partners, the SACP and Cosatu, recently said they suspected a cover-up in Mabuyakhulu's handling of alleged procurement irregularities by Ithala chief executive Sipho Shabalala.
They said they were shocked that Shabalala got away with a written warning for not following tender procedures on a project worth R169million.
Zikalala said the ANC had noted the SACP and Cosatu's concerns.
He said Mabuyakhulu had briefed the ANC's provincial executive committee on measures that had been taken to put the financial institution on a firm footing for growth. He said among other services it provided home loans and insurance.
Ithala has been at the centre of several controversies over the past few years.
In 2006 it was reported that May Mashego-Mkhize, wife of the then economic development MEC and current Premier Zweli Mkhize, received a loan of R13million for farming purposes.
It was reported that her partners in the venture were Pretty Mbanjwa and Ntombi Shabalala, the wives of former KwaZulu-Natal director-general Kwazi Mbanjwa and Shabalala.
Loans were reportedly granted to various top Ithala executives, including former Ithala chief executive Sipho Nyembezi, who earned R2,45million a year.
Mabuyakhulu announced last year that the state-funded Ithala Bank would in future no longer give loans to senior government officials. - Sapa