South Africa

Ramathuba appoints Kgabo Mahoai despite his bad track record

Kgabo Mahoai

One of the MECs chosen by new Limpopo premier Dr Phophi Ramathuba with a “proven track record” and an “unwavering commitment to the values and principles that underpin our democracy”, has a questionable past.

Kgabo Mahoai was fired as director-general of the department of international relations and cooperation (Dirco) in 2021 over dodgy dealings.

ALSO READ: Limpopo premier Phophi Ramathuba ‘fights for women’

He was found guilty of cross negligence, cross dereliction of duty, breach of legal obligation, as well as irregular, fruitless, and wasteful expenditure totalling more than R100 million.

Ramathuba appointed Mahoai, in consultation with the tripartite alliance partners, as new MEC for Treasury, despite his bad track record.

The misconduct charges stem from a R118 million deal to obtain new premises for the department in New York, which allegedly never existed.

Mahoai was found guilty of cross negligence, cross dereliction of duty, breach of legal obligation, as well as irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure by the department.

He had authorised expenditure of R118 million on a project to acquire offices and accommodation for a South African diplomatic mission in New York.

Mahoai later described the multimillion-rand botched deal as an orchestrated scheme and that he only allowed payments to be made for the deal so that former Dirco minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane could “prevail”.

In light of this, President Cyril Ramaphosa delegated International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor to institute disciplinary proceedings against Mahoai.

He was subsequently found guilty and his services were terminated on 10 September, 2021.

ALSO READ: SA’s 7th administration premiers: Dr Phophi Ramathuba is Limpopo’s first female premier

When announcing her provincial Cabinet appointments, Ramathuba said the individuals brought “a wealth of experience, dedication, and a deep commitment to serving the people in Limpopo”.

“They have been chosen for their proven track records, expertise in their respective fields and their unwavering commitment to the values and principles that underpin our democracy,” said the premier.

Seun Mogotji, general secretary of the Bolsheviks Party of South Africa, said: “The ANC is playing politics of the stomach.

“What hold does Mahoai have on the ANC and the premier? “I think there is more to this appointment than meets the eye. An intensive probe is urgently required.”

The Limpopo government was sent questions about the appointment, but said it could not answer immediately.

Trade union federation Cosatu and the SA Communist Party were also not available for comment at the time of going to press