What Housing Act? Asks SA’s former Housing MEC
In a most bizarre turn of events, the now-infamous Mosebenzi Zwane, former Free State human settlements MEC told a panel of jurors that he did not know the country had a Housing Act.
Mr. Zwane, baffled the commission and the world at large after he denied any knowledge of the existence of South Africa’s Housing Act, despite him running the government housing sector for one whole year.
Mr. Zwane is defending himself in a hot corruption scandal regarding ‘irregular use of funds and unlawful contracting processes in the Free State 2010 housing project.’
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He also said he did not know how many houses were built during his time in office, but admitted that he personally oversaw the handover of at least 50 houses.
The unexpected answer from the former high ranking government official was described by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo as “horribly wrong.” Well, how else would you describe an estimate of 50 when figures from the department in question estimate that Mr. Zwane handled anything between 400 to 600 houses.
Mr. Zwane’s downplayed answer is rightfully so because he was brought before SA’s state capture commission. The former government man is implicated in several million dollars cases that he is accused of swindling from a low-cost housing national scheme.
Mr. Zwane is not new to such accusations, in fact, he is now in the spotlight over several other corruption scandals including one asbestos related scam and the Vrede dairy farm came into being.
The former Housing MEC was forced to resign in 2018, following allegations of sponsoring a grand wedding using funds from the Vrede dairy farm, in his home town of Vrede, Free State.
The scandal and the hearing are now entering the second year running since the dirty linens were the first hangout to dry back in 2018.
The Commission of Inquiry into State Capture resumes its hearings this week and is expected to hear evidence in the Free State Asbestos Project from the Head of Department (HOD) of Human Settlements in the province, Nthimotse Mokhesi.
The Vrede dairy farm project saw millions of dollars that were meant for developing a dairy project but instead ended up in some individual’s pockets. The scandal is not only about money swindling, there was blood spilling as well.
Local media reported the finding of the body of one Philemon Ngwenya. He was reportedly a dairy farmer and a whistleblower in the Vrede dairy farm scandal that implicated the former MEC.
The farmer was found dead in was found in his shack in 2018 and his death was filed as murder. He wasn’t the only one to draw the short end of the stick. Another farmer was reportedly shot dead for his involvement in the case as were two other individuals.