Fikile Mbalula’s brother, Jabu, lands top job as MEC in Free State

African National Congress (ANC) Secretary-General Fikile Mbalula’s brother Jabu has been named the MEC for Community Safety, Roads and Transport in the Free State.

Jabu was named among the new members of the executive council earlier this week.

FIKILE MBALULA’S BROTHER JABU APPOINTED MEC IN FREE STATE 

Jabu Ntsokolo Ishmael is familiar with the Free State provincial government as he previously served as its spokesperson.

He also served as SA’s Ambassador to Romania from 2017 until his return to South Africa.

In 2022, an investigative report into the illegal appointment of staffers in the Free State’s Mangaung Metro Municipality exposed Jabu Mbalula as one of the ghost staffers who allegedly cost the council millions in salaries every month while never reporting for a single day of work.

The Citizen reported that most ANC cadre deployments occurred after the 2021 local government elections when individuals identified as “skeletal staff” were signed up, often without appointment letters or contracts, violating the Municipal Systems Act.

According to the report, the ghost workers received a total of R2.5 million in salaries in January alone. In  March, the salary bill shot up to R9m as the number of hired staffers increased from 125 to 165.

Following Jabu’s appointment, the ANC in the Free State held a media briefing to defend the decision to appoint him as a member of the executive council.

Ironically, in 2022 during his tenure as Transport Minister, Mbalula revealed that the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) saved R200 million through an operation which stopped the payment of salaries to ghost workers.

Prasa initiated Project Ziveze in November 2021. The project aimed to ensure that staff who earn salaries from the rail agency are indeed legitimate.

Mbalula said the investigation flagged 2 134 employees which were placed in different categories. The first was possible ghost employees who could not be physically verified and the second was identity theft.

This meant employees masqueraded as somebody else. The other categories included employees with fraudulent qualifications and those with serious criminal offences.

WHO ARE THE MEMBERS OF THE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL? 

fikile mbalula’s brother, jabu, lands top job as mec in free state

The members of the executive council in Free State. Jabu Mbalula is the first one on the right (standing). Image: X/Getty Makhafola

Finance, Tourism & Economic Development –  Moses Ketso Makume

Public Works & Infrastructure –  Dibolelo Kathleen Mahlatsi

MEC for Social Development – Nokwanje Selina Leeto

Education – Dr Mantlhake Julia Maboya

Health – Monyatso Viceroy Mahlatsi

Agriculture, Rural Development and Environmental Affairs – Elizabeth Cornelia Rockman

Community Safety, Roads & Transport – Jabu Ntsokolo Ishmael Mbalula

COGTA & Human Settlements – Teboho Zacharia Mokoena

Sport, Arts, Culture & Recreation – Ntombizanele Beauty Sifuba

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