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New Limpopo Treasury MEC Kgabo Mahoai was fired from Dirco over dodgy R100m deal

Fired as director-general from the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco), Kgabo Mahoai has landed a cushy new job as the MEC for Treasury in Limpopo.

Mahoai was named earlier this week among the MECs announced by newly-elected Limpopo premier and former Health MEC in the province, Dr Phophi Ramathuba.

KGABO MAHOAI RESURFACES AS TREASURY MEC IN LIMPOPO

In 2021, The South African reported that Dirco Minister Naledi Pandor fired Mahoai over a botched New York land deal worth R118 million.

Mahoai faced charges related to irregular expenditure incurred by Dirco over an unsuccessful project to purchase a piece of land in New York for purposes of constructing premises to accommodate South Africa’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations and New York Consulate.

A disciplinary hearing found that in March 2017, Mahoai – then acting director-general – gave the green light for a payment of close to R118 million to a company called Serendipity SA Investment LLC for the New York property, without a legally valid basis and despite Treasury having not approved it.

In his defence, Mahoai claimed in the disciplinary hearing that the R118 million pre-payment had been approved by his predecessor as director-general, Jerry Matjila, who had left to become South Africa’s ambassador to the UN.

The South African reached out to the Limpopo provincial government to find out whether Ramathuba was aware of Mahoai’s dismissal and if she was not concerned that someone fired for gross negligence and irregular expenditure, was now in charge of the province’s purse.

Spokesperson Ndavhe Ramakuela had not responded at the time of publication.

Former Dirco Director-General Kgabo Mahoai. Image: X/@Dirco_ZA

DA SLAMS APPOINTMENT OF FORMER DG

The Democratic Alliance (DA) said in a statement on Thursday that hoped it had Ramathuba would select a provincial cabinet that was without skeletons in the closet and able to direct Limpopo towards addressing poor service delivery and the plight of the poor, as the province had consistently under-performed at every level in the last five years.

“More concerning is the appointment of Kgabo Mahoai as the MEC of Treasury. Mahoai was axed by the Directorate [sic] of International Relations and Cooperation for an irregular expenditure of R118 million to obtain land in New York, which never materialised.

“Mahoai has now been given the cookie jar of the province and will manage its finances. Clearly, he is an unsuitable candidate given his history,” DA caucus leader in Limpopo, Lindy Wilson, said.

WHO ARE OTHER MEMBERS OF THE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL?

  • Education – Mavhungu Lerule-Ramakhanya
  • Health – Masesi Mashego
  • Agriculture and Rural Development – Nakedi Kekana
  • Sport, Arts and Culture – Funani Jerry Maseko
  • Provincial Treasury – Kgabo Elias Mahoai
  • Economic Development, Environment and Tourism – Tshitereke Baldwin Matibe
  • Public Works, Roads and Infrastructure – Ernest Rachoene
  • Transport and Community Safety – Susani Violet Mathye
  • Social Development – Florence Radzilani
  • Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs – Basikopo Makamu

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