Oscar rejects ‘cash accusation’

R450k into architect’s account alleged to come from R1.1m municipal claim

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Premier-elect Oscar Mabuyane has denied that he received cash from Mbizana municipality, or that he benefited unduly from a businessman who was paid for municipal work not done.
It was alleged in a report by the Mail&Guardian that Mabuyane received R450,000 from the municipality via businessman Lonwabo Bam, who had invoiced the municipality for R1.1m even though he had not rendered a service by way of a tender.
The paper reports that the R450,000 which was transferred into the account of an architect working on Mabuyane’s Bunkers Hill home, comes out of the R1.1m claimed from the municipality by Bam.
Mabuyane, in a statement released by his spokesperson Mvusi Sicwetsha at 10.45pm on Thursday, said the R450,000 was a private loan from provincial ANC treasurer Babalo Madikizela. The M&G report accuses Madikizela of asking Bam to pay money into the account of LSM Distributors so he could purchase a Bentley Bentayga worth R4m.
The report says Bam, acting under the instruction of Madikizela, claimed money from the Mbizana local municipality, despite Bam not having rendered a service.
Mabuyane said in his statement he would register and declare the R450,000 that was paid into his architect’s account – with the reference “Mabuyane” as a loan from Madikizela, who is also the MEC for human settlements.
Approached for comment on Friday, Madikizela’s spokesperson Simthandile Ford referred the Daily Dispatch to answers Madikizela gave to M&G.
Madikizela had said: “As in any friendship, a number of favours exchanged hands between myself and Bam, some personal and some financial. I have never instructed [Bam] to invoice any municipality for work done or for any other reason. I owned a plant hiring company that Mr Bam used. At the time of me buying my car, I was expecting some payments from Mr Bam for my plant that he has used and other monies he had borrowed from me. I instructed him to pay that amount to LSM Distributors as it was at the time convenient to do so.”Bam also owns a plant hire company, Mthombeni Projects.The report says Madikizela told Bam to pay the R1.1m from Mthombeni Projects to LSM Distributors.The paper reported Mbizana municipal manager Luvuyo Mahlaka saying the money was paid for services rendered for the Winnie Madikizela-Mandela memorial service on April 10 2018.He said the payment was made based on a memorandum of understanding between the municipality and the provincial department of sport, recreation, arts and culture (DSRAC). Approached for comment, DSRAC spokesperson Andile Duna told the Dispatch on Friday that the provincial government forked out R3.1m to the Mbizana municipality to honour Madikizela-Mandela, but would not say if R1.1m of that was paid to Bam.Mahlaka did not take Dispatch calls nor respond to two text messages. Mbizana municipal spokesperson Thamsanqa Cwibi said he knew nothing about the Bam tender.In his statement, Mabuyane said he would declare this loan facility when “the right time” for annual declarations of personal interests by public representatives and members of the executive in the public service came around...

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