Free State MEC's house in question

───   CORN KOTELI 16:44 Thu, 12 May 2022

Free State MEC's house in question | News Article
IMAGE: Department of Sport, Art and Culture, Recreation Facebook Page

The Free State department of Sports, Art, Culture and Recreation is in the spotlight with allegations around the house of its MEC.

It all started with Free State DA MPL, Roy Jankielsohn, who raised allegations during the State Of the Province Address (SOPA) Debate. He said it is alleged that some Covid-19 relief funds, paid to artists, were redirected towards paying for a house for MEC Limakatso Mahasa. This house is in Gauteng and it is where she is allegedly residing – only travelling to the Free State for her executive council responsibilities.

Jankielsohn said he also submitted a written question in the legislature on the issue and is awaiting a response. Concerns have been raised that government is responsible for the travelling cost. It is also allegedly the reason for her absence from office.

Spokesperson for the Department of Sport, Art and Culture and Recreation, Tankiso Zola, said - in response to OFM News’ questions - that they are in no position to respond to issues relating the house as they do not have the relevant information. He said if such (information) exist, it will be a personal matter. On a question about when last she was in office, he said the MEC is always carrying out her responsibilities in and out of office.

OFM News also send questions about the housing privileges of MEC’s to the Free State Department of Public Works. Spokesperson, Mlu Maqubela, explained that MEC’s are designated with one official residence per seat during the term in office.

He said members may also designate a privately owned residence for use as an official residence. Where there is no state-owned residence available, he said his department will provide a reasonable rented alternative for a period not exceeding three months.

On a question whether an MEC is allowed to stay outside the province and the cost thereof, Maqubela said the rovincial Members shall be provided with one vehicle for official use and relevant Departments are responsible for providing and maintaining official vehicles and cell phones for SAPS VIP Drivers and Protector.

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