Balfour cleared of 'wrongdoing'

Anna Majavu

Anna Majavu

Parliament has cleared Correctional Services minister Ngconde Balfour of allegations of receiving a luxury 4x4 vehicle as a gift from a company which is contracted to his department.

The joint committee on ethics and members' interests investigated claims by the Sunday Times that "Kgwerano, a company associated with Bosasa (a major contractor to the Correctional Services department) had paid for the minister's personal motor vehicle, effectively providing him with a gift".

Bosasa has a R200million a year contract with the department to provide meals for prisoners across the country.

The contract is currently under investigation by the special investigations unit after it was extended past its expiry date, in contravention of the Public Finance Management Act which states that expired contracts must be advertised.

The Sunday Times claimed that Kgwerano Asset Finance, which has links to Bosasa, financed Balfour's car. But the ethics committee found that Kgwerano Asset Finance, a division of the car financing bank, Wesbank, had no links to Bosasa.

They found that a separate company, Kgwerano Financial Services (Pty) Ltd was linked to Bosasa, but was not involved with Balfour's car.

The Sunday Times had claimed that the two were not separate. It claimed that "Kgwerano Asset Finance was a joint venture between Wesbank and empowerment group Kgwerano Financial Services (Pty) Ltd".

Ethics committee chair Luwellyn Landers refused to discuss the Sunday Times claim that the two Kgwerano companies were linked.

The DA's James Selfe said Balfour is not off the hook yet.

Wesbank's spokesman was not available for comment.

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