Pretoria News

Bonginkosi Madikizela’s future hangs in the balance

- MAYIBONGWE MAQHINA

THE future of Western Cape DA leader Bonginkosi Madikizela, the Transport and Public Works MEC, hangs in the balance.

This after Premier Alan Winde yesterday suspended him while an investigat­ion into his qualificat­ions was under way.

Madikizela’s suspension came days after DA federal council chairperso­n Helen Zille announced that the allegation­s over his qualificat­ions were referred to the federal legal commission for investigat­ion.

The qualificat­ions scandal erupted as Madikizela emerged as one of the mayoral candidates in the City of Cape Town along with incumbent mayor Dan Plato and DA MP Geordin Hill-Lewis.

Winde announced his decision after holding a meeting with Madikizela on Wednesday, when Winde raised his concerns and asked for an explanatio­n.

“During that meeting I made clear that acting with integrity is non-negotiable to me and to the people of the Western Cape.

“I also made it clear that I believe in fairness and due process, where all the facts are properly considered,” Winde said.

“I have since carefully considered the matter and have taken the decision to suspend MEC Madikizela, effective immediatel­y for a period of 14 days, while an investigat­ion determines all the facts.”

Winde said once he had all the facts, he would make a final decision regarding Madikizela and his role in his cabinet.

“It is in the interests of all parties, and most importantl­y our residents – who deserve nothing but honesty and integrity from their government – that this matter be resolved swiftly,” Winde said.

Meanwhile, it has emerged Madikizela has also been suspended from party activities.

In a letter to party structures, DA provincial chairperso­n Jaco Londt said deputy leader Albert Fritz would be acting in Madikizela’s position for the next two weeks.

“We trust that all structures will carry on the great work that they are currently doing leading up to the next week’s by-elections as well as the local elections that we will be contesting later this year,” Londt wrote in a letter dated April 15.

Cameron Dugmore, ANC leader in the Western Cape legislatur­e, said they disagreed with the 14-day suspension.

“We have called for the code of conduct committee in the legislatur­e to conduct an inquiry into the conduct of MEC Madikizela. This is a multiparty committee of the legislatur­e,” he said.

“It is this investigat­ion which should commence and only once it is concluded and its findings reported to the legislatur­e, should there be any considerat­ion of whether to lift the suspension or not,” Dugmore said.

He said they could not trust the DA or Winde to investigat­e Madikizela as blatant double standards were displayed when Zille’s tweets about colonialis­m had gone unpunished.

“We have seen Premier Winde give (Local Government, Environmen­tal

Affairs and Developmen­t Planning) MEC (Anton) Bredell a ‘slap on the wrist’ when he was found by the public protector to have breached the code of ethics by unlawfully trying to interfere in a local government appointmen­t in George.”.

Good party secretary-general Brett Herron said Madikizela’s suspension and the investigat­ion were unacceptab­le after he “lied about his non-existent qualificat­ion”.

“This lie is not a trivial matter that the DA can pussyfoot around with and treat as an internal matter,” Herron said.

He also said his party would lay criminal charges against Madikizela for violating the National Qualificat­ions Framework Act.

Herron said Deputy Public Protector Kholeka Gcaleka had two weeks ago issued a report which found Madikizela guilty of lying to the legislatur­e and instructed Winde to act against him for breach of the executive ethics code.

The EFF’s Melikhaya Xego said: “When you take public office, you swear to be faithful to the country and government so we welcome his suspension and we want an investigat­ion to be instituted.”

Political analyst Keith Gottschalk said the turn of events came as no surprise. “When the scandal broke out the DA had no option but to suspend him. They have been denouncing ANC people who claimed to have had qualificat­ions,” Gottschalk said.

He also said it was worth noting that the informatio­n about Madikizela’s qualificat­ions was brought to the attention of the public as he was competing for the mayoral position.

“It always happens in a contest that supporters of a rival contender will leak informatio­n.”

Gottschalk also said should Madikizela, the highest-ranking black leader in the Western Cape, be axed, “they (the DA) will need to seek other leaders of colour to ensure diversity in their ranks”.

Madikizela issued a statement yesterday, taking full responsibi­lity for misleading the media and he admitted not finishing his BCom qualificat­ion. He maintains this did not benefit him in any way.

 ?? | HENK KRUGER African News Agency (ANA) ?? THE Western Cape MEC for Transport and Public Works, Bonginkosi Madikizela, has been suspended.
| HENK KRUGER African News Agency (ANA) THE Western Cape MEC for Transport and Public Works, Bonginkosi Madikizela, has been suspended.

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