Winde suspends Madikizela for two weeks amid probe into alleged lying on his CV
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Cape Town – Premier Alan Winde has suspended Transport and Public Works MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela for 14 days, with immediate effect, while an investigation into his alleged lying on his CV begins.
Madikizela’s head is on the chopping block, both as MEC and senior DA leader, following revelations that he lied about a degree he doesn’t have.
Winde said he was “deeply concerned” that Madikizela’s biography contained information which he had accepted was not true, as well as claims that he misled a journalist in that regard.
“I met with MEC Madikizela yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon, where I raised my concerns with him and asked for an explanation,” he said.
“During that meeting, I made clear that acting with integrity is non-negotiable to me, and to the people of the Western Cape. I also made clear that I believe in fairness and due process, where all the facts are properly considered.
“I have since carefully considered the matter and have taken the decision to suspend Minister Madikizela, effective immediately, for a period of 14 days, while an investigation determines all the facts.”
Winde said that once he had all the facts, he would make a final decision regarding Madikizela and his role in the cabinet.
“It is in the interests of all parties and, most importantly, our residents who deserve nothing but honesty and integrity from their government that this matter be resolved swiftly.”
Winde has appointed Human Settlements MEC Tertius Simmers, as acting MEC of Transport and Public Works.
In a terse statement to the Cape Argus, Madikizela said: “In light of the Daily Maverick article, I take full responsibility that I didn’t correct the information on my bio. It is true, I didn’t finish my BCom degree, but that is not a requirement for a political office in South Africa.
“This didn’t benefit me in any way in the positions that I’m currently occupying, that I previously applied for, the premiership and the position I’ve applied for, mayor of Cape Town, because it was never a requirement.”
Many parties in the Western Cape legislature have been calling for his removal following the revelation.
Leader of the opposition Cameron Dugmore (ANC) said: “I am truly shocked at the MEC’s response. The issue is not whether the degree was a requirement to become a mayoral candidate.
“The issue is that he fraudulently claimed that he had a BCom. This was clearly intended to promote his prospects. The fact that the MEC sees nothing wrong with this confirms our view that he is not fit for office.”
Good party MPL Brett Herron said: “It is true that there is no entry-level qualification to hold public office. There is, however, an obligation to be truthful when you occupy executive office in South Africa, and he’s been appointed to executive office three times using a false qualification. It is also unlawful and dishonourable to lie about your qualifications.”
EFF provincial chairperson Melikhaya Xego said: “(The) EFF Western Cape views this dishonesty by the MEC as a serious offence that is punishable by law.
“We are of the view that Madikizela has violated the Code of Conduct by lying to the public about his qualifications. Not so long ago, the same MEC was found to have breached the Executive Ethics Code when he misled the legislature about MPL Brett Herron, and it is clear to us that Madikizela is a habitual liar who has no shame about his misconduct.”
The party said the relevant passages 2(3) in the Code of Conduct that governs the conduct of the members of the Western Cape Provincial Parliament stated that “a member shall ensure at all times that the dignity, credibility and integrity of the Provincial Parliament is maintained” and, under 2(5)(b) that a member shall “act honestly and maintain the trust that the public places in him or her”.
“In both instances, Madikizela has dismally failed to live up to these values, thus he can no longer hold public office,” Xego said.