Western Cape human settlements MEC and acting provincial leader of the DA Bonginkosi Madikizela believes the allegations of impropriety levelled against him over the weekend have everything to do with the upcoming DA Western Cape elective conference taking place in September.
The Sunday Times reported a “swanky birthday bash in his [Madikizela] honour was apparently partially funded by construction companies that benefit from projects financed by his department”.
The MEC told The Citizen that before the party that was held at the exclusive One&Only hotel at V&A Waterfront in the Mother City, he had no knowledge that a group of friends were organising the lavish soiree.
The One&Only resort, according to Cape Town magazine, is a new luxury six-star, R900-million establishment financed by the former founder of Sun City, Sol Kerzner, and opened in 2010.
When asked if he did not breach the executive code of conduct by accepting gifts from companies doing business with his department, Madikizela was self-assured about the chain of events leading up to the party.
“That story was not accurate. They said construction companies but only quoted Phumla Zantsi [partner at Lawula Trading and Construction]. Phumla has been friends with me for over 20 years before I was an MEC. I suspect that they would have preferred that I tell Phumla to stop doing work with the department because I am now the MEC.
“I don’t give out tenders at the department. The journalist who wrote the story allowed my detractors to use him in their fight against me leading up to the congress in September. First, they said my brother is doing business with me, and now they are saying contractors pay for my parties,” he said.
There is a difference between a cake and a car, which I would not accept.
When it was brought to his attention that the public protector’s adverse findings against President Zuma on Nkandla were sustained despite the number-one citizen having said he had no knowledge of the upgrades, Madikizela insisted he had no way of knowing, as that was a “surprise party”.
“Phumla didn’t throw the party. There is a difference between a cake and a car, which I would not accept. I only learned who was throwing the party afterwards, and therefore could not have declared,” he said in response to whether he had declared this ‘gift’ to the provincial registrar of members’ interests.
Madikizela is the currently acting leader of the party in the province. He is contesting the position during the elective conference.
Madikizela was also in the news over the weekend when several sources tipped off the media that he laid a complaint against Mbali Ntuli for ‘liking’ a Facebook post declaring Helen Zille a racist after he struck a deal with the “conservative quarter” of the party to secure their votes ahead of the elective conference.
The reports further stated no one was willing to pursue the Ntuli matter, as the legal commission opinion regarded the charges as dead in the water, but Madikizela agreed to do so after being challenged to show the same vigour he did when he laid a complaint against Dianne Kohler-Barnard.
He denied those allegations, but agreed that he attended a meeting in February where the matter was allegedly discussed.