Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo expressed shock after former MEC for Human Settlements in the Free State, Mosebenzi Zwane, said that he was not aware, for a year, of the Housing Act – a law that applied to his portfolio.
Zwane was testifying at the State Capture Commission in Johannesburg on Friday, over the alleged irregular use of funds and unlawful contracting processes in the Free State 2010 housing project during his tenure as MEC.
Justice Zondo questioned Zwane about why he never familiarised himself with the Act even after he was told about it:
“When you were told for the first time about the Housing Act and you were asking the officials what is the way forward. Precisely because you didn’t know about this Act, they were telling you something new. You would want to see this Act and see those provisions. Actually, I want to know from them, how come you have never told me about this Act. That’s the kind of reaction I would have expected, what do you say to that?” asked Zondo.
“What I did at that particular time which I thought was sufficient and was not questioned was to submit this idea to the collective of the executive,” responded Zwane.
Irregular use of funds
Zwane also blamed the irregular use of funds in the province’s 2010 housing project on former HOD Mpho Mokoena.
The province was keen to spend R1.4-billion allocated to it by the National Treasury for low-cost housing before the end of the financial year, to avoid its re-prioritisation to other provinces.
However, earlier this week, Mokoena told the State Capture Commission that he was threatened with losing his job by Zwane, if he did not sign off on documents related to the project despite knowing that there were irregularities.
Zwane testifies at the State Capture Commission:
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