The ANC in Gauteng has come out in defence of Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi, denying there was a “secret meeting” that took place in which allegations have been made he attempted to meddle in the department’s tender.
It was reported on Sunday in the City Press the MEC had been recorded in a meeting appearing to promise to fix tender issues experienced by certain people. The meeting where the recording took place was held in Tshwane, the newspaper reported.
But Gauteng ANC spokesperson Bones Modise questioned how could a meeting be secret when it was a community meeting held in the office of a school.
“There is no story here. How is it a secret meeting? If a principal addresses his staff in the office, is it a secret meeting?
“There was no such thing as a secret meeting,” Modise said. However, when probed on how the ANC plans on addressing the allegations against Lesufi, Modise said that by Monday afternoon he would have more answers for journalists.
In a statement issued on Sunday afternoon, Lesufi said forces were at play in an apparent attempt to tarnish his image.
“I am fully aware that there are forces at play who want to assassinate my character for political expediency. Unfortunately in a democratic society, the accuser doesn’t have to prove their allegations but the accused must prove their innocence.
At the community meeting, attended by School Governing Bodies (SGB’s), Learner Formations, Business Forums, School Principals and community formations such as CPF’s, the MEC explained how contracts were advertised and adjudicated in government in general. For the record, this meeting took place in May 2020.
“It was after this meeting that the electricity of the school was restored and the repairs were allowed to proceed. Based on the above, the allegation that this was a secret meeting is baseless and unfounded,” Lesufi’s office said. Gauteng Premier David Makhura’s office said it did not have any comments at this stage as they found Lesufi’s statement to be sufficient.
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