DA demands apology from ANC over Pappas allegations

KZN DA premier candidate Chris Pappas (white shirt) took his election campaign to Wema hostel in the south of Durban on Saturday. Picture: Supplied.

KZN DA premier candidate Chris Pappas (white shirt) took his election campaign to Wema hostel in the south of Durban on Saturday. Picture: Supplied.

Published Mar 4, 2024


Durban — The DA in KwaZulu-Natal has demanded that the ANC publicly apologise to uMngeni Local Municipality mayor Chris Pappas for false accusations.

This comes after Pappas was cleared of spousal nepotism allegations by the Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs report. The allegations were made by ANC’s Sizwe Mchunu.

After initiating an investigation in October last year, Cogta recently wrote to the municipality to inform its management that Mchunu’s allegations were unfounded.

In a letter signed by the Cogta MEC Bongi Sithole-Moloi last month seen by the Daily News, the MEC said based on the information sourced and provided and in the absence of further details it was deduced that the allegations at this stage were unfounded.

However, the report cautioned the municipality to strengthen its internal control relating to the funding of community tourism organisations.

The report found the municipality wrong for not having a policy which outlines a process of funding such organisations, which was in contravention of Section 33 of KwaZulu-Natal Tourism Act 1996.

Pappas said he was not surprised by the outcome.

“It was something that I was never worried about. I knew from the beginning that it was cheap politics by the ANC and by small parties seeking relevance,” said Pappas.

To prove the ANC did not know what it was doing it even marched to the municipality looking for “Passas” not Pappas, he said. One of the placards in the march read Passas instead of Pappas.

He said it was a political stunt by the ANC after he was announced as the DA’s premier candidate.

DA provincial chairperson Dean Macpherson said the ANC should foot the bill of the investigation costs.

On Sunday, Mchunu disputed the Cogta report, saying the department never interacted with him so he would not apologise to Pappas.

“In their dreams! Rest assured they will receive no apology from me. Cogta is not an investigating authority and I have never engaged or interacted with Cogta on this particular matter.

“My complaint was directed to the Public Protector and a series of interviews have been held and documents sourced by the PP in their investigations, thus they haven't concluded the investigation,” said Mchunu.

The allegation that Pappas practised nepotism by influencing the municipality to give R100000 to uMngeni Tourism, a non-profit which was owned by his then fiance Jean-Pierre Prinsloo, was brought to the attention of former DA provincial leader Sizwe Mchunu.

The matter has been the subject of public debate after Mchunu alleged the NPO was paid R100 000, which he called an act of nepotism because of the mayor’s relationship with Prinsloo.

Mchunu also wrote to then acting public protector Kholeka Gcaleka and asked her to investigate the matter.

Cogta also announced it was investigating the matter. Mchunu had argued it was nepotism because all other NPOs were given R50 000.

In an exclusive with the Daily News, Pappas provided invoices revealing that the NPO was granted R50 000 in funding to organise a festival. ANC provincial spokesperson Mafika Mndebele also denied the report cleared Pappas.

ANC provincial secretary Bhekinkosi Mtolo said the report is a two-stage inquiry.

“The first stage, without interrogating evidence at face value, the allegations may seem to be unfounded.

“Then the report went further to raise matters of serious concerns such as lack of adequate internal controls, serious poor record keeping which may result in the manipulation of information,” Mtolo said.

“Further to that uMngeni Municipality has been found to not have policies that guide funding for tourism organisations and violated Section 33 of the KZN Tourism Act of 1996. Therefore, when reading the report using critical analysis and purposeful meaning it’s clear that KZN Cogta has found the municipality is in fact a constitutional delinquent municipality,” Mtolo said.

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