This rul­ing takes the cake

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - TSHEGO LEPULE [email protected]

BONGINKOSI Madik­izela gets to have his cake and eat it.

It emerged this week that Pub­lic Pro­tec­tor Bu­sisiwe Mkhwe­bane ruled in the MEC for Hu­man Set­tle­ments’ favour fol­low­ing a row over a R3 000 cake he re­ceived at a birth­day party at Cape Town’s One and Only ho­tel last year.

Madik­izela was ac­cused by the ANC’s Khaya Ma­gaxa of breach­ing the ex­ec­u­tive ethics code when he failed to declare gifts when it emerged that his birth­day cake was paid for by Phumla Zantsi of Jawula Trad­ing and Con­struc­tion, who had done work for his depart­ment.

Madik­izela’s run-up to his elec­tion as DA leader last year was marred by the con­tro­versy which es­ca­lated when the mat­ter was brought to the provin­cial leg­is­la­ture’s con­duct com­mit­tee which at the time was chaired by for­mer DA MPL Len­nit Max, who was also in the run­ning for the top job.

Max was re­moved from the com­mit­tee, which is yet to re­lease its own find­ings in the mat­ter.

In the re­port, Mkhwe­bane said it sought to in­ves­ti­gate whether Madik­izela re­ceived any ben­e­fit or gift for his party, whether he failed to dis­close a ben­e­fit in terms of the ex­ec­u­tive ethics code, and if he acted in breach of code.

The bill for the sur­prise birth­day party came R134 028 with the in­clu­sion of the cake.

In her rul­ing Mkhwe­bane found that even though the ethics code called for gifts of more than R1 000 to be listed, and re­quired per­mis­sion from the premier, a pri­vate birth­day party was not an event a mem­ber could first ask per­mis­sion for.

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