ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule has been caught in the middle of a housing-project scam used to ensure that a company partly owned by his daughter earned contracts worth R150-million from his provincial government.
An exclusive exposé by News24 reveals Magashule's involvements in government contracts to benefit his own family at the expense of Free State's poorest citizens in need of housing.
Here are the major pointers you should be aware of:
- Magashule and other provincial officials interfered in a housing project, the Bethlehem RDP project, to construct RDP houses on a plot of land to the north of Bethlehem, Free State.
- After the initial contractor was booted off the project, the provincial government appointed a different company
- The company, Unital Holdings, is a Chinese company in which Thoko Malembe, Magashule's daughter, is a shareholder.
- The company was appointed to build RDP houses without a tender process and had R70-million paid to it by the department of human settlements.
In November 2013, Magashule and several MECs officially launched the Baken Park RDP project and vowed to build quality houses. They said: "We don't want to build a 'kasi' township here". He then introduced the MECs at the launch to a Chinese businessman known as "Mr Li".
News24 reports that Unital Holdings, a company in which Magashule's daughter owns a 30 percent stake, bagged contracts in 2013 and 2015 to build RDP houses near Bethlehem.
A recent report by councillors in the local Dihlabeng council shows that the houses built by Magashule's daughter's company are substandard – those now living at the development have no working toilets, running water or electricity.
This is the second scandal involving Magashule's daughter.
An earlier report by News24 detailed how Malembe pocketed R9-million in a contentious property deal with the Free State Development Corporation (FDC), a government-owned entity whose chairperson is a close ally of Magashule.
The premier's office insisted that Magashule in no way influenced government contracts.
"The honourable premier is not at all involved in the awarding of tenders or any related processes. The honourable premier was therefore not involved in the appointment of the service provider with regards to the Bethlehem RDP project," it said in a statement.
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