The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in the Free State has opened a criminal case against the Department of Police, and the the Department of Roads and Transport, alleging that the department spent more than R700 000 on Women in Traffic virtual meeting ceremony.

This is the same department where MEC Sam Mashinini was axed last week in a cabinet reshuffle by Free State Premier Sisi Ntombela.

The department’s HOD Sipho Mtakati has also been placed on precautionary suspension.

“We have opened a case against the Department of Police, (as well as) Roads and Transport. They had a virtual event, which they spent R766 000 of which is unusual. Normally, when parliament opens, they simply spend about R8 000, not more than R10 000. We are of the view that these people are no longer stealing. They simply take everything,” says EFF Provincial Secretary Bosanku Msimanga.

The ANC in the Free State suspended the party’s provincial Chief Whip, Vusi Tshabalala, as a member and party leader in the legislature.

The ANC’s Interim Provincial Committee (IPC) is accusing Tshabalala of supporting independent candidates and campaigning for rival political parties.

Tshabalala is no stranger to political tussles. In 2018, he was booted out of his mayoral position in the troubled Maluti-A-Phofung Local Municipality, when the ANC councillors voted with the opposition to remove him.

“Yes, we have suspended comrade Vusi Tshabalala. He has been furnished with a letter of suspension which includes the charges levelled against him. So, it’s for him to respond to these when he appears before the disciplinary committee. So, at the moment, we can’t say much except to say that, ‘yes, we have suspended comrade Vusi Tshabalala,'” says ANC Interim Provincial Committee Spokesperson, Oupa Khoabane.

Tshabalala’s suspension comes a week after the MEC for Police, Roads and Transport, Sam Mashinini was removed from the provincial cabinet.

Mashinini and Tshabalala are both known to be staunch supporters of suspended ANC Secretary-General, Ace Magashule.

Khoabane has denied that the party is purging Magashule supporters.

“I don’t know who is an ardent supporter of the SG and who’s not, because the SG is the SG of the organisation. Everyone is in support of him, because he is the leader of the organization. So, to say that supporters of the SG are purged is as well as saying that you are purging the membership of the ANC,” says Khoabane.

VIDEO: Free State MEC Sam Mashinini fired