Allegations of corruption extend to the highest provincial office

Issued by Bobby Stevenson, MPL
Leader in the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature

The stench of corruption allegations continue to haunt the Eastern Cape, reinforcing its image as the epicentre of corruption in South Africa.

The latest allegations reach into the highest office in the province following the arrest of Premier Oscar Mabuyane’s special advisor, Zandisile Qupe, on Friday, the 20 November 2020.

This week I have asked parliamentary questions in this regard.

See questions

Premier, you cannot say you did not know! Your judgement is also in the dock with this one!

Serious questions need to be asked about the Premier’s vetting processes along with national security clearance, as extensive media coverage has been given to the allegations against Qupe prior to his appointment.

A criminal case was opened against him by former Mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay, Athol Trollip in March 2019.

See media statement and affidavit

The Premier owes the province an explanation as to how this person was appointed as a special advisor in May 2019, with this allegation hanging over his head, or is it a case of highly connected “cadres” getting a free pass?

Other corruption allegations that hang like a dark cloud over this province, include the following:

  • The Sizwe Africa tender
  • PPE procurement
  • The air ambulance charter
  • Scooter gate

Qupe and his co-accused are facing charges of fraud, corruption, theft and money laundering. Giving him leave of absence amounts to a slap on the wrist. The Premier should have sent a strong message by suspending him and instituting a disciplinary enquiry against him.

The ANC in the Eastern Cape is failing to institute consequence management and take a tough stand on corruption. The Provincial anti-corruption council has failed to meet for a number of years. A capable state would show zero tolerance for corruption.

The DA will continue to fight this cancer of corruption that is eating away at the lifeblood of this province and turning it into a criminal state. What resources we have, need to be devoted to improve the lives of everyone, and not enriching the lives of an elite few.