Chinese ructions in Tshwane

Staff Writer | Aug 28, 2019
Tshwane mayor Steven Mokgalapa is under fire from the Democratic Alliance (DA) over a trip he and a number of officials took to China at the end of July.

The trip was sponsored by Chinese Tech giant Huawei. Huawei had extended the invitation to visit its facilities in China to view its proposals for making cities safer and smarter. Huawei bore the costs of the visit, although the city contributed over R120 000 in subsistence and other costs.

The DA leadership noted that Mokgalapa had not obtained permission from the party to undertake the trip.

There was speculation in the media that this trip was linked to a ‘safe city’ tender, with one (unnamed) expert saying that the relevant tender had been structured so that only Huawei was likely to be able to make a suitable bid.

James Selfe, DA head of governance, disputed some of the claims about the tender – such as that it could amount to R1bn – but said that the party would review the tender documents.

Huawei has also denied allegations of impropriety.

The DA has hitched its brand to the notion of clean governance, and has been acutely sensitive to suggestions of misbehaviour on the part of its members holding office.


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