ANC boss walks plank as corruption sharks circle
KZN ANC deputy chair Mike Mabuyakhulu throws in the towel as he faces criminal charges
Beleagured ANC deputy chairperson in KwaZulu-Natal Mike Mabuyakhulu, who has pulled out of the list process in which he would have certainly clinched a position in the provincial legislature, says he was not forced to step down because of the forthcoming national elections.
Mabuyakhulu, who is cited among the five main role players in a fraud‚ corruption and money-laundering case relating to a failed jazz festival five years ago that cost taxpayers R28m, told a media briefing in Durban on Thursday that his decision to step down was based on his “moral conviction and political consciousness”.
“I had to exercise my own mind as a cadre of the ANC and leader of the ANC and I had to take my conscience based both on my moral conviction but also on my political consciousness. And it’s about me and it’s not about anyone else. And I guess each and every one of us, as leaders of the ANC, we are placed in a situation where we emphasised our minds.
“We are then expected, through our own political consciousness, to criticise ourselves. In this instance, I’m talking about myself and I want to emphasise it is absolutely not about anyone else but it’s about me having exercised my own mind in a case that is affecting me, and having come to my own decision to voluntarily do as I have done,” said Mabuyakhulu.
He added that he would respect the court processes and would not be tempted to comment about the court matter.
ANC provincial spokesperson Mdumiseni Ntuli said Mabuyakhulu had voluntarily recused himself from a list where he occupied the second or third position, which meant he was certainly going be a member of the provincial legislature.
“As you know he has voluntarily recused himself from a list where he was occupying the second if not the third on the list, which would inevitably mean that he was going to be a member of the provincial legislature, and, of course, what else could have been given him as responsibilities as a consequence of being a member of the provincial legislature is something that we would have led to the future when the time comes,” he said.
But the future is not lost for Mabuyakhulu, since the ANC has promised that when the court process concludes and he is not found guilty of the charges, he will be assigned more responsibilities in the party.
“When the case concludes the provincial deputy chairperson will be assigned more responsibilities that we would deem appropriate at the level that he is. You will know he is one of the few comrades in the province who have worked in the ANC and served in government, meaning that the experience and knowledge that he has accumulated over a period of time is something that the ANC needs,” he said.
Mabuyakhulu and Durban businessman Mabheleni Ntuli were cited among the five main roleplayers in the failed jazz festival case. The others are Desmond Golding‚ the former head of the KwaZulu-Natal department of economic development and tourism; Caesar Walter Mkhize‚ the owner of Soft Skills Communications‚ Maqhoboza Traders and Shaka Holdings; and Nothando Zungu‚ a member of Soft Skills Communications and sole member of Ishashalazi Productions.
It is alleged that during his tenure as MEC of economic development in KZN‚ Mabuyakhulu directed millions into the accounts of his seven co-accused and nine other companies and businessmen, for which he allegedly received kickbacks.