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Scopa chairperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa accused of abusing his position to fight IFP factional battles

Scopa chairperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa accused of abusing his position to fight IFP factional battles

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Durban – The chairperson of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa), Mkhuleko Hlengwa is under fire for allegedly abusing his parliamentary position to fight internal factional battles of his party, the IFP.

On October 11 this year, Hlengwa, using Scopa’s letterheads and his position as chairperson, wrote a letter to the IFP-run Uphongolo local municipality in northern KwaZulu-Natal, demanding answers.

In his letter, which was addressed to the mayor of the municipality, Velephi Mavis Sikhosana, Hlengwa demanded some paper trail and information regarding the appointment of the municipal manager, Bethuel Mntonjani Khali.

Among the information Hlengwa wanted from the municipality was how the vacancy was declared and the verification of Khali’s qualifications.

"The Standing Committee on Public Accounts is advised that with regards to the appointment of the Municipal Manager, Mr Khali, of your municipality there are outstanding documents due to KZN Cogta (the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs).

“Accordingly, please advise whether these documents have been submitted to KZN Cogta, and if yes please supply same to the committee; and if not provide reasons why not?” Hlengwa’s letter reads.

Hlengwa also demanded answers from the municipality regarding the use of a municipal car by the chief financial officer, Sthembiso Mkhize, despite that he receives a monthly car allowance, thus barred him from using municipal vehicles.

Among the information that was given to him was a council resolution on the appointment of the municipal manager.

What raised eyebrows within the party was that it was discovered that Hlengwa never informed other members of Scopa about the letter.

“There is a reasonable suspicion that he is abusing his Scopa position to fight internal IFP battles. He is a proxy,” said a source who was contacted by IOL after the exchange of letters between Hlengwa and the municipality was leaked.

“The municipality is contested by various factions of the party which wants to control it and its resources.

“Hlengwa is part of a camp which is on the verge of losing its grip on the municipality and its resources.

“The IFP is just like the ANC, they also have an interest in how tenders are awarded and who is employed in senior positions,” said the source.

Hlengwa did not respond to IOL when he was asked to respond to the allegations that he was abusing his position.

He was also asked whether he has passed the information to Scopa or the portfolio committee on cooperative governance and he never responded.

Meanwhile, the ANC in the Mzala Nxumalo region (Zululand district) said despite that they come from the opposing side of the political spectrum, they support the move by Hlengwa to demand answers.

sihle.mavuso@inl.co.za

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