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Deputy president Paul Mashatile. Picture: GCIS
Deputy president Paul Mashatile. Picture: GCIS

Deputy President Paul Mashatile has denied allegations of wrongdoing levelled against him, saying he will not be distracted from carrying out the duties entrusted to him by President Cyril Ramaphosa.    

This follows an investigation by News24, which reported Mashatile lives a life of luxury funded by those who have benefited from state tenders, including controversial ANC benefactor Edwin Sodi. 

The DA said its national spokesperson Solly Malatsi will lay a complaint against Mashatile and ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula with the public protector in Cape Town on Thursday for “their role in what can best be described as State Capture 2.0”. 

“While Mashatile has been living a life of luxury in opulent residences owned by individuals who have benefited from state tenders, Mbalula was loaned R3m by the COO of the National Lotteries Commission, an entity established to assist disadvantaged communities,” said Malatsi. 

“These are exactly the kind of incidents that characterised state capture during the Zuma years where corrupt tender flows funded extravagant lifestyles for high-ranking ANC officials. The DA will fight vigorously to prevent another direct and systematic assault on our democracy and its institutions.” 

Mashatile’s spokesperson Vukani Mde said on Wednesday that the deputy president noted the News24 report, which “contains a number of potentially damaging yet unsubstantiated allegations against the deputy president”. 

“Left unchallenged, these could create the impression that the deputy president does not respect or seek to uphold his oath of office, the dictates of the constitution and national law, or is not mindful of the concerns of ordinary South Africans about corruption and unethical conduct from those who hold public office,” he said. 

Mde said the deputy president conducted himself “in ways that comply with the letter and spirit of the law and executive disclosure requirements throughout his career spanning nearly 30 years of service to the people of SA”. 

Any allegation or insinuation that he ever betrayed this commitment is categorically denied, he said. 

“While the deputy president denies any and all allegations of wrongdoing, we note that News24 fails to offer any real evidence of misconduct on the part of the deputy president, choosing instead to rely on innuendo, suggestion and guilt by association. This is a regrettable approach to journalism and it has the potential to hinder rather than help the cause of accountability in public life,” said Mde. 

Mashatile has all his life as an activist and public representative met many people from different walks of life, including individuals mentioned by News24, he said.

“Naturally, some of the people he has interacted with throughout that long time have become close personal associates. There is nothing wrong or unusual about this, and the attempt to scandalise such associations is unfortunate. 

“The deputy president has never awarded, influenced, or in any way caused any state or public sector contract to be awarded to the individuals and companies mentioned by News24. Nor does the deputy president have ownership or permanent use of any properties bought by these individuals and companies. The deputy president would challenge anyone to prove otherwise.” 

Mde said Mashatile will not be distracted from his official duties as the second in command and “will continue to conduct himself in public office based on the ethical dictates that have guided him through a long career in politics: integrity, respect for the law and constitution, and an unwavering commitment to service and to the primary interests of the people of SA”.

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