Sunday Times

Son’s PPE deal dogs ANC whip

Thermomete­rs for ANC offices supplied by senior MP’s child

- By ANDISIWE MAKINANA

● ANC chief whip Pemmy Majodina, one of the party’s most senior deployees in parliament, is embroiled in a scandal over an alleged conflict of financial interest after it emerged that the parliament­ary caucus she manages awarded a deal for personal protective equipment (PPE) to her son.

The Sunday Times has establishe­d that a company in which Majodina’s son, Mkhonto weSizwe, is a sole director supplied 150 thermomete­rs valued at R350 each to be used in the party’s constituen­cy offices across SA.

Mkhonto weSizwe Majodina is the sole director of King Mzimshe Trading, a company registered in Bhisho, in the Eastern Cape.

The company invoiced the “ANC national caucus” for R52,500 on January 15 for supplying the instrument­s to measure body temperatur­e.

Speaking through her spokespers­on, Nomfanelo Kota, Majodina defended the transactio­n, saying the caucus did not have to go to open tender as the amount was less than R100,000. This is in terms of the ANC parliament­ary caucus’s financial policy, she said. However, two insiders said this was a lie, the caucus had previously sought three quotations when procuring goods or services way below R100,000.

Kota, avoiding questions on the conflict of interest, said the transactio­n with her boss’s son was consistent with the financial policies of the caucus.

Kota said it was also an emergency procuremen­t during alert level 3: “As we were dealing with second wave, it was necessary to [seek] quick solutions to safeguard the life of constituen­cy staff and the public in our parliament­ary constituen­cy offices.”

Majodina, asked whether she had declared that her son heads the company that supplied the PPE, referred the Sunday Times to the register of MPs’ interests, saying, “declaratio­n forms of MP interests are filed with parliament”.

The process was of awarding work to Mkhonto wesizwe was led by the caucus’s head of finance, Fundiswa Citwa, said Kota.

She confirmed that the thermomete­rs were distribute­d to the party’s parliament­ary constituen­cy offices.

Approached for comment, Mkhonto weSizwe said: “Primarily I am a young, budding entreprene­ur who has registered his company since 2017 and have been operating since then.

“Most of the business transactio­ns I have entered into were not backed by my mother.”

He said he “perceived no conflict of interest in this matter”. He denied that he received any undue benefit, saying he provided a service and quoted within the required specificat­ion and timeframe and delivered the goods at market-related prices.

“I was requested to provide emergency procuremen­t for supply in the heat of the Covid-19 pandemic within a stipulated timeframe and I delivered per specificat­ion and submitted my invoice,” he said.

ANC insiders said procuremen­t for constituen­cy offices is done by the national caucus.

This time last year constituen­cy office staff in Cape Town were told to collect PPE items from parliament — three big boxes with sanitiser and two small boxes of masks, said one insider.

It is not clear who supplied the ANC caucus on that occasion.

Then in January this year, constituen­cy offices each received R1,000 to purchase sanitiser and masks, but thermomete­rs were supplied.

“We were told to apply for petty cash but the petty cash would be strictly used for PPE. We bought sanitiser and masks,” said an insider from a constituen­cy office in the Cape Town metro, who asked not to be named.

The source said they were told to collect thermomete­rs from the ANC offices in parliament.

“There was a Zoom meeting addressed by the chief whip and provincial co-ordinators for all constituen­cy offices, where they were saying what system each province would follow, and that there would be petty cash to buy PPE,” said the source.

Political parties represente­d in parliament are allocated constituen­cy allowances administer­ed by the legislatur­e to allow them to set up and run public consultati­on offices across the country.

The ANC’s portion of that allowance amounted to R68m in 2019.

Constituen­cy funds are meant to fund ongoing interface between parliament­arians and their constituen­ts, consistent with the constituti­onal obligation­s of accountabi­lity, public participat­ion and involvemen­t.

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 ??  ?? Pemmy Majodina, left, and her son Mkhonto weSizwe Majodina, an entreprene­ur whose company is registered in the Eastern Cape.
Pemmy Majodina, left, and her son Mkhonto weSizwe Majodina, an entreprene­ur whose company is registered in the Eastern Cape.

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