Ex-SABC boss Hlaudi Motsoeneng‘s Free state housing scandal has further exposed other housing scandals taking place in the Free State.
According to unconfirmed reports, about 106 building contractors have been arrested and sued alongside the ex-SABC boss Hlaudi Motsoeneng and Nozuko Mbalula, Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula’s wife, over a Free state housing scandal involving hundreds of millions of Rands.
Court documents reveals that Free State’s department of human settlements spent R631m on housing between 2010 and 2011, with no houses to show for it.
This report comes following Hlaudi’s R1bn housing fraud case sued against him and the Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula’s wife, Nozuko who allegedly received millions from a “fraudulent” R1bn “spending spree” by the Free State government.
Furthermore in the Free State housing scandal, reports said the Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane, while he was provincial MEC for Human Settlement, sanctioned the payments of hundreds of millions of rands to companies that had then not done any work for the government.
This paved the way for an exposition of more contractors holding tax payers money without any work to show for it.
Department head Ntimotse Mokhesi provided details of the transactions in a sworn affidavit submitted to the High Court in Bloemfontein. According to Mokhesi, the department made payments to the contractors and suppliers without any written agreements or any proof that houses had been built or partially built.
The department hadn’t followed prescribed procedures to indicate who the suppliers were and who had been paid. The total amount paid was about R1bn. “The payments were made illegally because there were no contracts with suppliers and proper procedures weren’t followed. In addition, neither the national housing department nor the Treasury had approved it – or even knew about it. To top it all, none of the suppliers and contractors had lifted a finger or provided any materials,” Mokhesi’s statement reads.
The Free State human settlements department is set to sue Motsoeneng, Mbalula as well as the contractors that received upfront payment to build more than 14 000 RDP houses – many of which were never delivered.Back to Motsoeneng’s case with the SABC, the parliament has decided not to call him to testify before the ad hoc committee investigating the broadcaster because it says the inquiry is about the SABC and not one man.
The ad hoc committee debated the matter and ANC MP Vincent Smith, who chairs the committee, said MPs from various parties were nearly unanimous in deciding that only “affected parties” should testify before the committee.
“What is coming from MPs is that anybody affected will be afforded an opportunity to respond,” said Smith. “From where I am sitting this seems to be a fair process,” he added.