A letter addressed to Department of Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu from the Public Service Commission (PSC) has made it clear that the ministerial cook-off saga involving now Minister of Human Settlements Minister, Mmamoloko Kubayi, is far from over.
According to the PSC, a complaint was received through its anti-corruption hotline, alleging “procurement irregularities at the National Office of the Department of Tourism.”
According to the complaint, in May, a tender worth R150,000 for a cookout in Tembisa, Gauteng was “irregularly awarded” to DJ Shimza, real name Ashley Raphala.
The PSC said it is alleged the tender awarded to Shimza was not registered on the tourism department’s service provider database, and that “normal procurement regulations were contravened as other service providers that are registered on the database were not considered.”
The letter continues by stating that Shimza alleged on Twitter he was “simply called by the Department to submit a quotation and that he was subsequently awarded the tender.”
The 17 May cook-off was supposed to boost tourism in Ekurhuleni, but an investigation by eNCA’s Checkpoint in June revealed the event likely did the opposite.
TV and radio personality Somizi Mhlongo was present at the event, which took place at Shimza’s Hang Awt Restaurant.
In a parliamentary response to questions about the cook-off, Kubayi confirmed that her department spent R150,000 on the cook-off, but expressly denied that Mhlongo benefitted financially from the event.
It still remains unclear how much of this money went into Mhlongo’s pocket, as his wages for the cook-off were not revealed in departmental spokesperson Blessing Manale’s typed-up draft of the event’s budget.
The PSC is now set to investigate the complaint which relates to Kubayi.
Compiled by Nica Richards