DA KZN premier candidate Chris Pappas refuted allegations of corruption and nepotism against him. [Picture via The Citizen]
The office of the Public Protector has confirmed that it will launch an investigation into allegations against Chris Pappas. Pappas is the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) newly-minted premier candidate for the party in KwaZulu-Natal.
Allegations on social media accused Pappas of using his mayoral position in uMngeni Local Municipality to bag municipal funding for his former fiancé, Jean-Pierre (JP) Prinsloo. The nepotism and corruption allegations surfaced just days after Pappas was announced as the party’s candidate for premier in the 2024 provincial election.
This prompted Sizwe Mchunu from the ruling African National Congress (ANC) to urge an investigation into a R100 000 grant awarded to the uMngeni Tourism NPO in December. The organisation was reportedly headed by Prinsloo.
A spokesperson for the Office of the Public Protector, Ndili Msoki, confirmed a complaint had been received on Wednesday. “The file has been registered and is still to be assessed,” said Msoki, quoted in Sunday Tribune.
Allegations against Pappas
Not long after the dangerous allegations made headlines, Pappas decried them as “baseless rumours”. But Mchunu, who served as a leader of the DA in KwaZulu-Natal until defecting to the ANC in 2019, insisted there was something “fishy” about the matter.
“A person of his stature should have grabbed the opportunity to put these allegations to bed. I have found that he is somersaulting on these issues. Listening to that, only a naive person will not assume that there is something fishy,” said Mchunu.
Meanwhile, Pappas accused the ANC of a desperate attempt to push him aside ahead of the crucial elections, which could see the ANC lose control of the province to a DA-IFP coalition.
“The fact that they are content with just spreading these baseless rumours without providing evidence proves that they are merely politicking — they are desperate to claw [back] some support following a series of KZN by-election losses,” Pappas told The Witness.
For his part, Prinsloo attempted to clear the air by refuting the allegations.
“… No third-party consultancy was involved in our community initiatives, nullifying claims of contractual impropriety. Financial transparency is maintained through audited reports, and ethical boundaries have been scrupulously preserved, reinforced by my separation from Councillor Pappas.”