The matter to which your article titled “DA zips lip on shadowy graft case” (13 November 2020) refers was concluded in the first half of 2018.
Councillor Shadow Shabangu has previously declared, which is a matter of public record, arm’s length dealings with the Blue Crane Eco Mall (BCEM) contractor in the construction of the Springs Mall. This was revealed in a thorough investigation commissioned by the Ekurhuleni council. In addition, the investigations revealed that such information provided to the BCEM contractor by Shabangu was information freely available in the public space.
Neither Helen Zille or the Democratic Alliance turned a blind eye to corruption allegations. Investigations conducted by both the council and the disciplinary structures within the party concluded that, although Shabangu should not have received remuneration for the services provided to the contractor, there was no evidence that he received any kickbacks for the mall development. In addition, he was not part of any council decisions pertaining to this development.
But Shabangu, through this relationship, did bring the party into disrepute. Accordingly, he was suspended and fined. His caucus was well aware when they decided to elect him as chair and determined that he had been suitably punished for his actions and had, put in other words, served his time.
The Hawks investigation is something that the DA leadership was not previously aware of. It is unlikely that there will be any new findings because the previous two investigations into this matter were very thorough. But if the Hawks do come up with something new, the DA will not hesitate to act appropriately if necessary.
With regard to the sexual harassment allegations levelled by councillor Thina Bambeni against Shabangu: Bambeni filed a complaint in July 2018 and an internal party disciplinary committee dismissed her complaint as unsubstantiated and without evidence. She has failed to prosecute the matter any further and has unsuccessfully sought relief, even approaching the Constitutional Court, which declined to hear her application. Consistently, the courts have vindicated our position.
For years, Bambeni has waged a relentless and sustained campaign against the DA and its public representatives for her own narrow, personal interests.
It is mystifying that this case, long resolved, has made it onto your front page as “breaking news”. One cannot help but determine obvious bias against the Democratic Alliance.