By: Sello Theletsane
JOHANNESBURG- Media reports claiming that ANC secretary General Ace Magashule might have played a role in the awarding of contracts to the value of R2.7m by the Free State Provincial Government to his sons, Tshepiso and Thato are an attempt to paint Magashule as corrupt and weaken him politically.
This is according to a senior Free State ANC provincial Executive Committee (PEC) member who spoke on condition of anonymity. According to a Daily Maverick report, Magashule’s sons were awarded the contract after the provincial treasury decided to centralise Covid-19 supply procurement, to support local businesses.
The publication reported that the provincial treasury had awarded contracts with a combined value of R2.7 million to Motheko Projects and Marvel Deeds, owned by Tshepiso Magashule and Thato Magashule respectively.
The PEC member said mainstream media had made Magashule their “special project” because they feared him for his radical views and the massive support he commands among radical economic transformation (RET) forces within the ANC. “This is the only reason white-owned media is targeting the SG, who they want to paint as unethical, corrupt and not worthy of occupying any political office. “Should the SG’s sons, who like every South African, have a right to earn a living be discriminated against solely because their father is the former premier of the Free State,” asked the PEC member.
“It would have been a conflict of interest if the SG’s sons were awarded the contract during his tenure as Free State premier. But they never conducted any business with the provincial government while their father served two terms as the premier because they and their father fully understood that would have amounted to conflict of interest, hence they pursued their business interests elsewhere. Now that their father is no longer the premier, there’s nothing in terms of the law that prevents them from doing business with the Free State government” The PEC member added: “Everyone can see that these media reports are a weak attempt to link the SG to a long list of ANC family members who have corruptly benefitted from Covid-19 government contracts, something that has correctly triggered public outrage. Why should the SG be held accountable for business dealings of Tshepiso, a married father of two children, asked the PEC member. “Fortunately, the South African public is not as gullible as the mainstream media thinks. People have woken up and can see through these sinister motives being pursued by this agenda-driven reporting.”
In a statement Motheko Projects insisted that the contracts the company was awarded were “above board”. The company said the contracts awarded were for the supply and delivery of Covid-19 personal protection equipment including surgical masks. “We at Motheko Projects tendered and complied fully with the department’s requirements. Our products are compliant with the World Health Organisation standards and are SABS-approved”. Once we were appointed the department sent communication (commitment letter) stating that we should deliver as per lead time which was 2-5 days. We delivered and handed in the signed delivery note with the invoice and the commitment letter to the department for the payment to be processed and to ensure all steps were followed accordingly.”