‘It’s not like I stole public money’ — DA MP claps back after shopping spree during Zoom meeting

DA MP Tsepo Mhlongo has rubbished allegations that he went on a booze shopping spree during a parliamentary meeting this week.
Image: Tsepo Mhlongo via Twitter

DA MP Tsepo Mhlongo has rubbished allegations that he went on a booze shopping spree during a parliamentary meeting this week.

Mhlongo’s whereabouts were caught in a video which he said was “unintended”.

He has since said he would not allow the scandal to tarnish his reputation. “I will not let this drag me down or obsess about it, it’s not like I’ve been caught stealing public money in a PPE scandal,” he said in a statement to TimesLIVE.

In an attempt to clarify his whereabouts, Mhlongo said he had gone to a grocery store and his cellphone’s video function was activated by mistake.

“I would like to clarify the unfortunate incident of my video turning on by mistake yesterday during a parliamentary seating, for which I unreservedly apologise as it was not intended.

“I want to put it on record that I was not at Tops as alleged, my whereabouts can easily be proven through GPS history of my phone. I was however in Pick n Pay, shopping,” he said.

“Again, I would like to apologise for the unintended video activation, it was not intended. Ngiyaxolisa.”

The DA, in a statement two days ago, complained about the “sensational” reporting by the media over the incident.

“Due to the unprecedented outrage directed towards Mr Mhlongo, he has now been forced to go as far as to compile an affidavit to prove that he was not in a liquor store.

“The DA in no way justifies Mr Mhlongo not being fully attentive while being on the virtual sitting. It is for this reason that Mr Mhlongo was duly reprimanded before the party’s parliamentary caucus, where he apologised for the offence that he has caused to the public.

“The DA is however deeply disappointed and disturbed by the media sensationalising this incident without interrogating the facts.”

BY NONKULULEKO NJILO

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