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Mbalula ready to defend himself over corruption claims

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Minister Fikile Mbalula is ready to defend himself after publicly making corruption claims against senior members of the ruling party.

Fikile Mbalula. Picture: Nokuthula Mbatha / African News Agency (ANA)

ANC NATIONAL working committee (NWC) member and Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula is ready to defend himself on Monday after publicly making corruption claims against senior members of the ruling party.

This follows a series of vitriolic tweets he fired off early this week in response to a march by Gauteng members of the Mkhonto WeSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA), demanding that he should be arrested for allowing Prasa’s infrastructure to rot.

The members further alleged that Mbalula’s negligence has affected millions of black commuters who rely on trains to get to various destinations.

In one of the tweets, Mbalula claimed that the march was a fightback by MKMVA spokesperson Carl Niehaus and MKMVA president Kebby Maphatsoe because he had closed the tap for lucrative security tenders at Prasa.

He went to repeat the allegation later in the week after opening a bridge in the North West province. It was where he also revealed that the ANC had summoned him to come to explain his tweets.

On Sunday, Mbalula told Independent Media that he was ready to explain himself when the NWC convenes the following day.

“(I) am a member of the NWC, should an explanation be requested I’ll be happy to explain. My tweets was a reaction to Kebby Maphatsoe, Karl (sic) Niehaus and a group of people calling themselves MKMVA calling for me to be arrested,” Mbalula said, adding that he won’t need a representative when he appears before the party.

Signalling that the meeting would be tense, ANC secretary-general Ace Magshule told the SABC on Sunday that Mbalula’s utterances were in bad taste. He was speaking after conducting a door-to-door campaign in Lenasia, Johannesburg.

Indirectly tackling Mbalula, Magashule said it’s a criminal offence for one not to report a criminal act when he has information.

“We will engage in all the issues. In South Africa if you don’t report crime, you yourself are committing crime because any offence or crime must be reported,” Magashule said.

This was in apparent response to Mbalula’s claim that his sin was cleaning out Prasa and in the process removing security companies with alleged links to MKMVA leaders.