DA lays corruption charges against Supra over R1m Denel bursary for son

The DA on Tuesday laid criminal charges of fraud and corruption against North West Premier, Supra Mahumapelo, and Denel CEO, Zwelakhe Ntshepe, in terms of Sections 50 and 51 of the Public Finance Management Act (PMFA).

Over the weekend, reports emerged that Ntshepe signed off on a R1.1 million Denel bursary for Mahumapelo’s son without following due procedure. Mahumapelo’s son is currently studying at a Port Alfred aviation school which do not form part of Denel’s list of accredited schools. Furthermore, Denel bursaries have generally only covered the fields of IT, engineering, finances, and business management.

DA Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises, Natasha Mazzone said this seems to point towards a breach of Section 50 of the PMFA which reads that the accounting authority may not “(b) use the position or privileges … for personal gain or to improperly benefit another person” and Section 51 states that the accounting authority must “take effective and appropriate steps to … prevent expenditure not complying with the operational policies of the public entity.”

“It is now time for Supra and Ntshepe to face the music. We urge SAPS to investigate these charges and ensure that the truth comes to light. If there was any wrongdoing on the part of Supra and Ntshepe, they must be held accountable. Section 86 of the PMFA states that in the event the accouninting officer is found guilty of an offence, they are liable to a fine or possible imprisonment. The DA will continue to fight against those who abuse state funds at the expense of the poor. It is unacceptable that those in powerful positions abuse their positions to unduly access money meant to empower underprivileged young people,” said Mazzone.

But Denel denied the accusations. In a statement Denel said: “Denel has noted various media article alleging, amongst other issues, that the Group Chief Executive, Mr Zwelakhe Ntshepe awarded a bursary to Mr Oarabile Mohamapelo in contravention of Denel’s policy. Denel denies these allegations as false.  The bursary awarded was made to three students based on the same criteria and/or considerations.  Of these awards, only one has attracted interest of the media. The award was made in compliance with Denel’s relevant policy after a full disclosure and presentation to the board of directors of Denel which was noted without any objection”.

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