Public Protector probes Gauteng DA leader for abuse of resources

The Public Protector (PP)has launched an investigation against DA Gauteng leader Solly Msimanga over allegations of abuse of state resources.

This comes after Msimanga’s former comrade – Xiluva leader Bongani Baloyi lodged a complaint with the PP’s office, saying that Msimanga and the mayor of Midvaal Peter Teixeira, speaker Allan McLoughlin and the municipal manager Anton Groenewald have abused municipal resources when they gave him a platform to address Midvaal residents and stakeholders during the state of the municipality address last month.

In the letter, dated July 5, Baloyi stated the trio had bent the rules and gave the DA leader a platform to speak in what he called “an act of electioneering.”

“On the 29th of June 2023, the municipality hosted the annual state of the municipality address, which is an occasion for the executive mayor to deliver his progress report and articulate plans for the next and outer years.

“During such an occasion, the executive mayor, speaker and the municipal manager, participated in the abuse of state resources, conflation between state and political party and electioneering by affording Mr Solly Msimanga, who isn’t a member of the provincial executive council, a platform to address the residents and stakeholders of Midvaal before the executive mayor’s address,” reads Baloyi’s complaint.

He also pointed out that as it was a known fact that the municipality was DA-led, he believed that the state resources were abused for electioneering purposes to boost Msimanga’s chances of retaining his position when the party’s provincial congress seats next month.

“This conduct by the mayor, speaker and the municipal manager is unprecedented and such a platform should never be misused by unauthorised individuals,” said Baloyi.

He said that it was mind boggling that the council’s mandarins did not see anything wrong when they granted Msimanga a platform to address the community and stakeholders.

“We request the public protector to investigate this matter as we believe that it falls within your ambit,” said Baloyi.

“It’s unethical as Solly is not a mayor nor a member of the provincial government executive. With that said, he had no legal basis to justify why he was granted the platform to address Midvaal residents. The Midvaal leadership violated the executive ethics conduct as they willingly participated. They violated and transgressed the executive ethics by participating in granting Solly a platform to speak to Midvaal residents and stakeholders. That was an abuse of Midvaal resources for internal party campaigns.”

Teixeria spokesperson, Idah Satikhe said: “No municipal resources were unlawfully used in the promotion of the Democratic Alliance or any of its campaigns during the annual SOMA event.

The Public Protector has not reached out to either the mayor, Speaker or the Municipal Manager. Since leaving the Democratic Alliance, Bongani Baloyi has consistently expressed dissatisfaction and launched social media attacks against the party. He is constantly fabricating issues to score political points and seeking relevance. Mr Baloyi should focus on growing his party instead of trying to find wrong where there is none.” Msimanga failed to respond to our questions.

Public Protector spokesperson Ndili Msoki confirmed on Friday that the office was on Msimanga’s tail.

“The Public Protector South Africa confirms receipt of the complaint. The matter was registered on 5 July 2023 and has been allocated to a senior investigator,” said Msoki.

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