Mahlangu de­nies debt to Gaut­eng

The Times (South Africa) - - News - By KATHARINE CHILD

● For­mer Gaut­eng health MEC Qedani Mahlangu de­nies ow­ing money to the gov­ern­ment‚ claim­ing that no se­cu­rity up­grades were done to her home.

It was re­vealed last week in an an­swer to a ques­tion by the DA’s Jack Bloom in the Gaut­eng leg­is­la­ture that Mahlangu owed R51 558 to the prov­ince af­ter se­cu­rity up­grades to her house breached the R200 000 limit.

But Mahlangu’s lawyer‚ An­gelo Christophorou‚ said no up­grades were done af­ter 2014 to her home in Oriel‚ Bed­ford­view.

“My client re­sponded to the pre­mier in a let­ter writ­ten on Oc­to­ber 18‚ where she dis­puted [the claim of se­cu­rity up­grades]‚” Christophorou said.

“She has re­quested in­voices or any records to sub­stan­ti­ate the al­le­ga­tion.”

Mahlangu is yet to re­ceive a re­ply from the pre­mier’s of­fice‚ and has not seen any ev­i­dence that the se­cu­rity up­grades were im­ple­mented, he said.

Gaut­eng has given her un­til June next year to pay any amount she owes back to the prov­ince.

“My client dis­puted in a let­ter to the pre­mier [the claim of up­grades]”

There­fore‚ Christophorou con­cluded‚ it could not be said that Mahlangu had failed to pay back any money.

Bloom, quot­ing the Gaut­eng leg­is­la­ture‚ told the me­dia that Mahlangu owed R51 558 for home se­cu­rity up­grades.

“She is cur­rently duck­ing her obli­ga­tion to ap­pear be­fore the Esidi­meni ar­bi­tra­tion hear­ings‚ and I hope she doesn’t try to avoid pay­ing the money she owes to the provin­cial gov­ern­ment,” Bloom said in a state­ment.

Mahlangu has since con­firmed that she would tes­tify at the Life Esidi­meni hear­ings be­tween Jan­uary 22 and 26.

The pre­mier’s of­fice failed to re­spond to re­quests for com­ment.

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