The North West provincial government has denied that its acting premier, Wendy Nelson is facing charges of fraud, IOL reported. Nelson was appointed acting premier this week when premier Supra Mahumapelo was placed on leave by the ANC in the North West. The provincial ANC rejected Mahumapelo's resignation and told him to take leave instead.
eNCA reported that the North West health and social development portfolio committee had laid corruption charges against Mahumapelo, Nelson, and others, in relation to the R160 million tender to supply mobile clinics awarded to the Guptas.
Nelson was the finance MEC at the time.
Her appointed was rejected by Cosatu and the South African Communist Party (SACP), according to Eyewitness News (EWN). The SACP's provincial secretary, Madoda Sambatha reportedly said Nelson had facilitated dodgy decisions taken by Mahumapelo. He reportedly said the province would not improve under her leadership.
EFF leader Julius Malema has threatened to challenge Nelson's appointment in court. According to IOL, Malema said it was unconstitutional to have an acting premier while Mahumapelo was still technically in the job.
"If they do not remove her then we are going to court. You can only appoint an acting premier if the premier is not in country. But Mahumapelo is around. What is this unconstitutional thing that you allow the new dawn to do?" he reportedly said.
But the North West government said Nelson had done nothing wrong.
"The provincial administration places it on record that the acting premier, Ms Wendy Nelson has never had fraud charges laid against her by the North West Health and Social Development Committee as incorrectly reported by the media," said spokesperson Brian Setswambung.
"It is therefore unfortunate that the media has decided to run with such incorrect information which casts aspersion on the character of the acting premier. Allegations made are malicious and seek to tarnish the work of the acting premier in her commitment and determination to selflessly serve the people of North West. She is committed to serve to the best of her ability by ensuring transparent and good governance."