African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) members misspelt the name of uMngeni Mayor Chris Pappas during a Thursday march against him in Howick, KwaZulu-Natal, leading to amusement and ridicule on social media.
Allegations against Pappas
Pappas came under fire last week after former Democratic Alliance (DA) member Sizwe Mchunu lodged a complaint with the Public Protector’s office, accusing him of nepotism and corruption after his fiancé, JP Prinsloo, was appointed chairperson of UMngeni Tourism, an NPO funded by the municipality, and grants.
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Mchunu alleged that uMngeni Tourism received a R100,000 grant from uMngeni Municipality, while the top five tourism organisations within the municipality received R10,000.
In a letter to the Public Protector’s office, Mchunu accused Pappas of “spousal nepotism and corruption”.
“When Chris Pappas left his previous political position as DA’s representative in the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature, his fiancé, who was serving as a councillor under eThekwini Municipality, also resigned and relocated to uMngeni Municipality, supposedly to be closer to his fiancé. In his resignation, Prinsloo pointed out that he resigned to further his business career NPO,” read the letter.
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“It has since emerged uMngeni Tourism NPO, chaired by J P Prinsloo, has been given a R100,000 grant by uMngeni Municipality, while the top five tourism entities/organisations operating within the municipality received R10,000 each per month.”
Although Pappas confirmed that Umngeni Municipality funds NPOs, including one run by his fiancé, he said uMngeni Tourism was established before he took over as mayor.
He further denied his fiancé’s other company, Growth Spurt Consultancy (GSC), got a tender as a consultant to uMngeni Tourism in hosting the Light Up uMngeni Festival last December.
Cogta MEC Bongiwe Sithole-Moloi has since instructed relevant officials to conduct a thorough investigation into the matter.
‘Arrest Passas now’
However, the ANC Youth League in the province is not planning to wait for the conclusion of the investigation before calling for the mayor’s head.
The ANCYL called for Pappas’s immediate resignation, but some posters at the protest had his name spelt incorrectly.
X users had a field day.
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Additional reporting by Unathi Nkanjeni