Mashatile denies claims linking him to controversial tenderpreneurs

Deputy President Paul Mashatile has vehemently denied a report by News24 containing damning allegations against him.

News24 reported of a connection between Mashatile and Edwin Sodi, a businessman facing corruption charges.

According to the publication, there are allegations that Mashatile’s opulent way of living is funded by entrepreneurs who have secured government contracts.

In a statement on Wednesday, Mashatile rejected the claims and emphasized his dedication to upholding his oath of office and the principles of the constitution.

He expressed concern that if these allegations were allowed to go unchallenged, they could undermine his commitment to his responsibilities, asserting his unwavering commitment to respecting the law, the constitution, and the legitimate concerns of ordinary South Africans regarding corruption and unethical behaviour within public office.

He also raised concern about the lack of concrete evidence presented by News24, noting that the article relied on innuendo, suggestion, and guilt by association.

Mashatile further criticised this approach to journalism, stating that it hampers the cause of accountability in public life rather than promoting it.

“For the record, the deputy president has, throughout his life as an activist and public representative, met many people from different walks of life including the individuals mentioned by News24,” reads a statement from the Presidency.

“Naturally, some of the people he has interacted with throughout that long time have become close personal associates. There is nothing wrong or unusual about this, and the attempt to scandalise such associations is unfortunate.

“The deputy president has never awarded, influenced, or in any way caused any state or public sector contract to be awarded to the individuals and companies mentioned by News24.

“Nor does the deputy president has ownership or permanent use of any properties bought by these individuals and companies. The deputy president would challenge anyone to prove otherwise.”

Mashatile also addressed and denied any suggestion that he was engaged in underhanded efforts to ascend to the high office, stressing that his primary mandate, as part of the Presidency, is to support the president, coordinate and supervise the government and implement commitments outlined in the State of the Nation Address.

“This is strenuously denied,” the statement reads.

“The specific programme for the deputy president is to focus on fixing local government by prioritising some of the 66 identified dysfunctional municipalities, intervening, setting milestones and showing success cases in order to replicate them nationally.

“All of this work is mandated by and supported by the president, aimed exclusively at enhancing the capacity of the state to deliver to the people. None of it is in service of some political machinations against or in favour of any government leader.

“To allege otherwise, based only on the say-so of nameless sources, is irresponsible in the extreme.”

Meanwhile, the DA has submitted a complaint to the public protector accusing Mashatile and ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula of being involved in what the party has labelled as a second iteration of state capture, State Capture 2.0.

“While Mashatile has been living a life of luxury in opulent residences owned by individuals who have benefited from state tenders, Mbalula was loaned R3-million by the COO [chief operations officer] of the National Lotteries Commission – an entity established to assist disadvantaged communities,” the opposition party said.

“These are exactly the kind of incidents that characterized state capture during the [former president Jacob] Zuma years, where corrupt tender flows funded extravagant lifestyles for high-ranking ANC officials.”


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