President Cyril Ramaphosa has approved a Special Investigating Unit (SIU) investigation into the Free State premier’s office’s dealings, particularly those that occurred during the tenure of former secretary-general Ace Magashule. This approval comes just a week after the ANC announced its intention to expel Magashule from office.
This opens the entryway for policing to focus a light on Magashule’s bursary installments to understudies while he was the Free State chief, which has been covered in contention.
On Friday, the president issued a proclamation that made public the most recent development.
Ramaphosa states in the proclamation that the SIU may look into claims about the affairs of the Office of the Premier of the Free State.
“Serious maladministration in connection with the affairs of the Office of the Premier” is alleged to have occurred. ill-advised or unlawful direct by workers of the Premier’s office; furthermore, that unlawful consumption of public cash” may have happened because of Magashule’s bursary plot.
A long time back, News24’s sister distribution, City Press, revealed that a chief at the Free Express head’s office during Magashule’s residency channeled excessive grants for herself, a “confidential individual”, and two government authorities to concentrate on in the US.
Sheila Goldinah Mazibuko was in charge of intergovernmental relations at the time.
According to City Press, a report titled “Approval for scholarships for four students to study at BAU International University in Washington DC in the US and special leave for three Free State provincial government officials” provided details regarding the scholarships.
According to reports, Mazibuko submitted the request on December 10, 2017, and Magashule granted it approval.
She requested that each recipient receive close to R1 million annually to pursue a two-year executive master’s in business administration (MBA) program at the university in Washington.
The University of Cape Town offered the same program at the time for R328 000 per year per student, according to a comparison with other local universities. Still, the report says that each recipient got $79 913, which was equivalent to R926 741 per year at the time.
At the time, Magashule was quoted as saying: I don’t deal with processes; when it comes to me, I either note it down or give my approval. There was nothing wrong there.”
The SIU is only tasked with determining whether any “unlawful or improper conduct by any person, which has caused or may cause serious harm to the interests of the public or any category thereof” was committed, according to Ramaphosa’s proclamation.
It further expresses that the SIU ought to investigate episodes “that occurred between 1 January 2018 and the date of distribution of this announcement, or which occurred before 1 January 2018 or after the date of distribution of this declaration, however are pertinent to, associated with, coincidental or auxiliary to the issues referenced in the timetable or include similar people, substances or agreements examined under the power of this decree”.
Magashule has kept up with his honesty, guaranteeing that all claims against him are politically spurred, given his political convictions, which were complete opposites from that of the president and his partners who currently overwhelm the ANC’s public leader board of trustees, the party’s most noteworthy dynamic body.