This ruling takes the cake
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.