UDM official appeals for Bhisho audit: Daily Dispatch

MPL lifestyles would be scrutinised

THE United Democratic Movement (UDM) in the Eastern Cape has called for a lifestyle audit of all Bhisho MPLs.

UDM MPL Max Mhlati, who is also chairman of Scopa, told a sitting of the legislature in Burgersdorp such an audit would the best way to root out collusion between political leaders and businesspeople.

Mhlati’s call was supported by the DA and Economic Freedom Fighters within the legislature.

The ruling ANC said it would consider the proposal together with all other proposals.

Mhlati said the audit would also have to cascade to councillors and later civil servants.

“An old lady complained about the level of corruption and her cry was that corruption must be rooted out in all spheres of government,” Mhlati said.

“We as leaders must lead by example and if we want to root out corruption, all members of the provincial legislature must be subjected to a lifestyle audit … so that everyone know that these members they live on their salaries and not on other funds which come out of corruption from deals they are having with government departments,” Mhlati said.

He said once the audit of MPLs was finished it should be expanded to local municipalities to include mayors and councillors.

“When all that phase is complete, we can be able now to go to civil servants. Otherwise it would be wrong to say just civil servants must be subjected to this audit, while MPLs are allowed to do as they please,” Mhlati said.

ANC chief whip Mzoleli Mrara said all views by political parties will be discussed in a multi-party caucus meeting to sit when they return to Bhisho.

“We respect every view which is progressive and is going to take the legislature forward. We not going to discuss individual points by parties, but all views tabled during this week,” Mrara said.

DA provincial leader Athol Trollip said all his party public representatives were ready for any audit.

“We will ensure all our representatives participate in such an audit. We support it 100%,” Trollip said.

EFF leader Themba Wele also supported the call, saying he still stayed in his shack in Orange Grove as a sign that he has nothing to hide.

The Dispatch reported last month that Wele failed to declare his interests, contravening the code of ethics that guides members of the provincial legislature (MPL).

He denied deliberately failing to declare.

Last month the legislature released the MPLs’ public register which shows speaker Noxolo Kiviet’s and MPLs’ lists of gifts and financial interests.

The register shows that ANC MPL Vumile Lwana has interests in property development and travel, and the UDM’s Thando Mpulu has interests in property and consulting companies.

The EFF’s Siyabulela Peter is also a director in an investment company, while the DA’s MPL Ross Purdon has interests in an estate agency. — mphumziz@dispatch.co.za