SA’s Minister of Small Business Development Lindiwe Zulu has called on all and sundry to appreciate every little work the government does, rather than criticizing it blindly.

The minister said the Zuma-led administration may have been clouded by corruption; but this doesn’t in any way suggest that everything that is black is corrupt.

Zulu made these assertions while answering questions from DA MP Toby Chance on why she appointed Thami Mazwai as her special adviser, irrespective of the fact that the ministry paid a whopping R22m to a company partly owned by Mazwai.

She pointed out that Mazwai’s shares in Mtiya Dynamics company and his subsequent appointment in the ministry may give birth to a conflict of interest, but stressed that the deal is far from corrupt.

Minister Zulu added that Mazwai has agreed to delist his name from the company; in order to focus on his contract with the ministry. She insisted that the ministry was bent on hiring Mazwai because he is the right man for the job.

“He acknowledged that there would be a conflict of interest; and we agreed that he’d get rid of the shares. He is in the process of finalising it…

That’s why I decided Mr. Mazwai would be the right person for the job. And I take exception that every time we [the government] are doing our best you regard us as corrupt,” the minister said.

Reports had it that the ministry of the Small Business Development paid Mtiya Dynamics R22m in the 2015-2016 financial year; to take care of the ministry’s National Gazelle programme.

The Gazelle programme is an acceleration programme that provides both financial and business support to small and medium enterprises.

Minister Lindiwe Zulu, in her reply also acknowledged that her newly-appointed special adviser Mazwai owns 40% of Mtiya Dynamics’ shares.

Nonetheless, the DA asked Zulu to either severe Mzawai’s ties with the ministry or get rid of his shares in the company, else it would write to Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu to investigate these activities.