The nomination of Matthew Wolmarans by the African National Congress (ANC) in North West as Brian Molefe’s replacement in Parliament has triggered a public outrage and criticism.
Molefe’s Parliamentary position has been vacated since he resigned as North West ANC MP in May. After his unexpected resignation, he returned back to power utility Eskom and stayed for a while before his appointment was finally rescinded by Eskom board, as directed by Public Enterprise Minister Lynne Brown.
Speculation was rife that Molefe’s appointment to Parliament was meant to pave the way for him to replace Pravin Gordhan as finance minister. But the position was given to Malusi Gigaba.
Presently, Molefe is still in a court battle, fighting to have his position at Eskom back.
2 Reasons why Matthew Wolmarans isn’t fit to replace Molefe
Wolmarans’ past had made his name synonymous with controversies. The MP has had several brushes with scandal, thus, the reason many people believe he’s not the right person for the position.
- He was once convicted of murder
This happened in 2012 when Wolmarans was Rustenburg mayor. He was convicted together with his bodyguard Enoch Matshaba for the murder of Rustenburg local municipality councilor Moss Phakoe in 2009.
Phakoe was gunned down when he arrived at his home in Rustenburg Noord on 14 March 2009. He had been out putting up ANC posters for the 2009 general election.
Two days before he was murdered, Phakoe had handed a dossier, alleging corruption in the Rustenburg municipality, to Local Government Minister Sicelo Shiceka.
Wolmarans and Matshaba were then arrested for the murder. They were put on trial, found guilty for their roles in the murder. Wolmarans was sentenced to 20 years in jail while Matshaba was sentenced to life.
However, the conviction was overturned by a full bench of the Mafikeng High Court in June 2014.
Wolmarans’ bodyguard, Matshaba was a former member of the uMkhonto we Sizwe. He was trained by MKMVA national chairperson Kebby Maphatsoe in Uganda.
- In 2015, Matthew Wolmarans was accused of illicitly receiving game animals valued at more than R210-million
The donation, including 130 buffaloes and 50 white rhinos, was made by the North West Department of Rural, Environment and Agricultural Development MEC Manketse Tlhape. Other beneficiaries are Wolmarans’ former Municipal Manager, Andries Boschoff and entrepreneur Mike De Kok.
They reportedly benefitted from the game donation through the Southern Africa Rare Game Breeders Holdings (SARGBH), a company set up in July 2015 by Wolmarans.
The deal was supposedly part of a government-driven empowerment scheme to give black farmers a toehold in the R20-billion-a-year game-breeding industry.
At the time, Peter Oberem from the Wildlife Ranching Association slammed the MEC for donating the game animals to few beneficiaries.
“Why such a big deal for few beneficiaries. I would expect rather than the department would provide small herds, let say ten Buffalos and maybe five Rhinos to a number of communities and beneficiaries not just everything for one person,” he said.
The Democratic Alliance and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) also expressed disappointment with the donation. The EFF, in particular, criticized MEC Tlhape for not creating awareness in order for other people in North West to also bring in their business plan.