Luvo Makasi, the man accused of "calling the shots" at the Department of Water Affairs and Sanitation, has laid a formal complaint against the City Press with the Press Ombudsman, and says he may yet take further action to protect his interests and that of the institutions he serves.
At the weekend, City Press reported that Water Affairs and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane allowed Makasi to attend senior management meetings, and alleged that he went as far as giving orders to her director general. Makasi is a lawyer with Bokwana Burns and also chairperson of the Central Energy Fund.
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Makasi said that if there was any evidence of impropriety or bribery on his part, these should be addressed to the appropriate law enforcement agencies.
"The allegations leveled against me by Mr. Masondo [City Press reporter Sipho Masondo] are at best false and unfounded, [and] has an intention to discredit both myself and my department and the minister of water and sanitation," he said.
Makasi also said he was taking legal advice on comments made by EFF leader Julius Malema, who earlier this month accused him of being the person responsible for green-lighting tenders at the Water Department.
"Depending on the legal advice, we may have to consider legal action against Mr. Julius Malema," he said.
Makasi has also denied any allegations of impropriety between Mokonyane and himself, saying their relationship is based on his role as a lawyer who provides legal advice to various water boards and water-related entities.
"My interactions with Minister Mokonyane and the Department of Water and Sanitation have always been of a professional nature and remain of that nature," he said.
"I categorically and clearly state that this allegation of a romantic relationship which has seen the minister relinquish her executive authority to myself is a false and blatant lie intended to defame, malign and discredit both myself and the minister."