Fikile Mbalula

Photo: Fikile Mbalula / Twitter

ANC rubbishes Mbalula corruption allegations by ‘faceless individuals’

The ANC said the claims are “unsubstantiated” and seek only to attack the integrity of Mbalula, who they have full confidence in.

Fikile Mbalula

Photo: Fikile Mbalula / Twitter

Last week, President Cyril Ramaphosa received a letter from a group claiming to represent African National Congress (ANC) comrades within the Department of Transport, the contents of which consisted of claims of mismanagement and corruption, mostly directed a Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula. 

Mbalula rubbished the claims last week, and challenged the authors – who have yet to reveal their identities other than having purported to be “ANC comrades” – to share their grievances internally. Now, the ruling party have themselves come to the aid of Mbalula by dismissing the claims as meddling, malicious and unsubstantiated. 

Letter claims Mbalula engaged in corruption  

The Citizen reported that the letter – which was addressed to National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise, chairperson of Parliament’s transport committee Mosebenzi Zwane, Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, Auditor-General Kimi Makwethu – made claims about Mbalula’s role in irregularities within the department, and charged that Mbalula is nothing more than a “celebrity minister”. 

“We must state from the onset that, despite all the issues we would mention about their actions and behaviour, the central question still remains…why did the president deploy Fikile to such an important and strategic department?” the letter read.

“Didn’t the president foresee that corruption, nepotism, cronyism and kleptocracy were going to be the order of the day?”

The group claimed to have knowledge and evidence of personal protective equipment (PPE) corruption linked to Mbalula. 

“We have voice notes, videos and pictures of everything that was done. Companies that were linked to the DG and minister were appointed to be suppliers of PPE,” the letter read. 

“We have a list of them and especially those that inflated prices. We also have evidence that shows the money exchange between the DG and unnamed people in our [building basement] parking lot, Irene Mall and Kempton Park.”

Mbalula dismisses ‘malicious’ claims  

Mbalula was quick to dismiss the claims, saying on 6 September that it is clear that the authors of the letter are not the “comrades” they claim to be. 

“I have taken an unusual stance to respond to the letter… which is informed by the principled need to set the record straight and curtail the pervasive culture of the letter.” 

He said that the allegations lack substance, and that the letter is nothing more than an attempt to dismantle his reputation. 

“The masterminds and crafters of this anonymous letter masquerade as staff members of the department and its public entities, yet a closer look at them through their malicious piece of work suggests the contrary.”

ANC slam ‘meddling’ public servants  

On Monday 7 September, the ANC were on hand to support Mbalula and dismiss the claims made in the letter. 

“The African National Congress (ANC) has noted with concern a letter authored by faceless individuals who claim to be ANC comrades, members and supporters in the Department of transport and its entities, making unsubstantiated allegations and attacking the integrity of the Minster of Transport, Fikile Mbalula,” they said in a statement

“The ANC takes a dim view of public servants who meddle in party politics in the workplace under the misguided belief that they can invoke the name of the ANC and undermine the authority of elected leadership.”

They said that Ramaphosa has recently been “emphatic” in his view that public service and politics should not cross paths, and said that the authors of the letter would be wise to heed this advice. 

“The President of the ANC, Cyril Ramaphosa, has been emphatic in communicating the views of the ANC leadership collective, that civil servants should refrain from getting involved in party political matters in the course of their duties,” they said.

“We therefore call on all public servants to respect this induction and execute their mandate without fear or favour.”

ANC has ‘full confidence’ in Mbalula  

The ruling party reiterated its faith in Mbalula’s ability to occupy the ministerial role he is currently tasked with, and said that they are pleased with his performance in his latest capacity. 

“The ANC has the utmost confidence in the leadership of comrade Mbalula in tackling the pressing challenges in the Department of Transport. We have noted the great strides he has made in prioritising challenges in the public transport sector,” they said. 

“The ANC urges Mbalula not to be distracted by those peddling malicious gossip. He must not allow faceless individuals to undermine the ANC’s ability to deliver on its electoral mandate.”