ANC should speak up

LAST week we published a story detailing how a Mpumalanga provincial employee, Pricilla Nkwinika, who allegedly irregularly gave out contracts worth R210million, was given a job in Premier David Mabuza's office at a time when the integrity committee had recommended that she be charged.

LAST week we published a story detailing how a Mpumalanga provincial employee, Pricilla Nkwinika, who allegedly irregularly gave out contracts worth R210million, was given a job in Premier David Mabuza's office at a time when the integrity committee had recommended that she be charged.

As it turns out there are allegations that Mabuza has a personal relationship with the person who got the contract. Confronted with this information, Mabuza dismisses the relationship, saying "it's personal".

Sorry, Mr Premier, it ceased to be "personal" the moment our taxes got involved. It might very well be that Mabuza had nothing to do with the contracts but his actions leave scope for more questions than answers.

One of the questions is whether Nkwinika is a mere fall guy serving the interests of her political principal.

We expect the ANC to do or say something about the matter - if for no other reason than dealing with an unfolding public relations disaster.

Mabuza is both ANC chairperson and premier. Either way, his actions reflect on the ANC.

As matters stand the inescapable conclusion is that Mabuza protected Nkwinika because she had acted in a manner that benefitted someone with a very close personal relationship with him.

This conclusion might be incorrect but is certainly not an irrational one to arrive at.

The ball is firmly in the ANC's court to show us why we should not doubt its commitment to the clean government they successfully sold to the people of South Africa during the elections.

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