KWAZULU-NATAL Education MEC Kwazi Mshengu has been vindicated following the release of a public protector report that absolved him of any wrongdoing following accusations of an elaborate scam of not using a vehicle used by his predecessor.
The accusations against Mshengu were brought in 2019 by the DA Member of the Provincial Legislature, Dr Imran Keeka, who claimed that Mshengu was using an elaborate scam to justify not using the state vehicle previously used by his predecessor Mthandeni Dlungwane and was instead blowing hundreds of thousands of Rand in taxpayer money on car hire.
A further allegation was that officials had forged a letter from a Mercedes Benz dealership advising him not to make use of the one-year-old Mercedes Benz GLE 350 because it was unsafe and it could kill Mshengu.
In his formal complaint to the Public Protector’s Office, Keeka said that it is possible that in the event that there is confirmation of this, Mshengu will be in breach of the Code of Conduct and Ethics of the KZN Provincial Legislature applicable to all members.
However, some two years after the complaint was lodged, the public protector has finally released her report following investigations into the matter, and Mshengu has been vindicated, with the report finding that the allegations levelled against Mshengu were not backed up by evidence.
The public protector said in her report that no evidence was found that Mshengu was involved in any elaborate scam not to use the official car that was used by his predecessor and that there was also no evidence that he or the department was involved in the forging of a letter, from Mercedes Benz Garden City Motors dated 2 November 2019.
The report also states that the evidence showed that Mshengu had relied on the information provided to him by the Head of Department in respect of the non-availability of the official car and that he had no reason not to accept it.
The report further states that it cannot be concluded that Mshengu acted in a manner that is inconsistent with his position, and therefore, in breach of the Executive Ethics Code, acted improperly or that he was involved in maladministration.