Easter Sunday won’t be a very joyous time for Panyaza Lesufi, and the Gauteng Education MEC is facing some very serious allegations once more. Fresh from a scandal that revealed his department wasted R431 million on sanitising empty schools, the latest fiasco concerns a recording – which allegedly exposes the politician for ‘tender corruption’.
What did Panyaza Lesufi say?
The recording, in the possession of City Press, has sparked a wave of political chatter across the board. Although the audio clip itself has not been uploaded online – making it the figurative ‘Easter egg’ in this unfolding drama – quotes have been shared by those privy to what has been said. Lesufi is understood to have told a business collective in Tshwane:
“I should know whether I can trust you, as you know how tenders come out. I trust comrade Mashishi. I won’t risk my future without knowing who to trust. Let’s trust each other so that we can all get empowered.” | Alleged comment by Panyaza Lesufi
‘Tell us what you know’, asks Mmusi Maimane
The damning evidence of Lesufi’s willingness to bend the rules on tender processes could make his position untenable. However, Mmusi Maimane, the OneSA Movement leader, would like to hear the MEC explain himself before jumping to any conclusions – even if he does expert the worst from the Gauteng frontbencher.
“These are serious allegations, Panyaza Lesufi. I hope you can clarify to the public what transpired at this meeting. We have a serious problem with wasteful tenders in the basic education system as evidenced by the R431 million wasted last year in Gauteng! Take us into your confidence.”
“The ANC is the reason we are in the mess I described. Rather than using their position in power to create a more equitable and harmonious society, they have looted the public coffers and miseducated our youth. We can and we must do better.” | Mmusi Maimane
EFF call for Panyaza Lesufi’s removal
You could probably spot this coming from a mile away, but the EFF is not giving a second’s thought to Panyaza Lesufi’s potential explanation. The Red Berets already feel that the MEC is banged to rights, and they want him booted out of public office for an act they believe is ‘tantamount to treason’…
“We call for the removal of MEC Panyaza Lesufi, for the reports about his conspiracy to conduct tender corruption on behalf of his allies. The recording reveals that Lesufi told Tshwane officials that ‘his people’ must be empowered in any tender-related matters. He also suggests that there are ‘traitors’ wanting to report him to the police.
“We are not surprised by the pure thuggery of Panyaza Lesufi, who behaves like a cowboy while failing to resolve anything. He pretends to work for SA, but only lines his pockets in the process. Lesufi’s nefarious scheme is tantamount to treason.”