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Mbalula denies ghost worker allegations

───   KEKELETSO MOSEBETSI 14:32 Fri, 21 Jun 2024

Mbalula denies ghost worker allegations | News Article
Jabu Mbalula, Maqueen Letsoha Mathae and Polediso Motsoeneng. Photo: Kekeletso Mosebetsi.

“There was nothing towards me; I just became a scapegoat because of my surname and my persona.”

The ANC spokesperson and newly appointed MEC for Community Safety, Roads and Transport in the Free State has firmly dispelled allegations linking him to the ghost worker scandal in the Mangaung Metro Municipality.

These allegations surfaced amidst heightened scrutiny following Premier MaQween Letsoha Mathae's announcement of the new Free State Executive Council on Thursday (20/6).

‘Asserting his reputation was unfairly targeted’

During an ANC media briefing at OR Tambo House in Bloemfontein, Jabu Mbalula addressed the controversy, asserting his reputation was unfairly targeted due to his surname and character.

“I was an ambassador of South Africa and I came back here, got absorbed into the municipality through a process similar to how people were absorbed into political offices in previous years. There was nothing towards me; I just became a scapegoat because of my surname and my persona,” he stated.

‘His name was not among those implicated’

Mbalula further clarified an investigation conducted by Mangaung Metro had identified the actual ghost workers, and his name was not among those implicated.

OFM News previously reported the ailing metro had spent approximately R5 million on ghost workers. A source revealed to OFM News millions of rands were allocated to 119 ghost workers including former councillors deployed by the ANC-run municipality in January 2022.

A request was allegedly made to then-acting City Manager Sello More to employ political staff from 10 January to 31 March 2022.

Mangaung Mayor Gregory Nthatisi recently confirmed that More and other Heads of Departments have faced threats due to their anticorruption efforts. More, who was reappointed as city manager earlier this year, uncovered multiple instances of fraud and financial mismanagement, including payments to individuals not employed by the municipality and salaries disbursed to people serving prison sentences.

Mathae reiterated her administration’s commitment to fighting corruption and building an ethical state.

OFM News/Kekeletso Mosebetsi dg

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