Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Helen Zille yesterday launched a scathing attack on African National Congress (ANC) Western Cape provincial secretary Songezo Mjongile, saying over the years he had used his various positions in the ANC and its youth league for personal enrichment and to escape accountability.

After the release of the public protector's report on the DA-led provincial government's contract with advertising agency TBWA Hunt Lascaris earlier this month, Mr Mjongile said the ANC would take the matter to the Public Service Commission and the auditor-general. The report had found the contract was valid and there was no evidence of unlawfulness.

Ms Zille, who is also the Western Cape premier, said in her weekly newsletter yesterday Mr Mjongile was making "hollow threats". She said that, "looking at Mjongile's record, it is no surprise that he suspects everyone else of trying to manipulate and fraudulently enrich themselves through government tenders. Perhaps he cannot imagine them operating any other way."

Ms Zille cited several instances allegedly showing Mr Mjongile had used his positions to enrich himself. "In 2006, he received a five-year suspended sentence with the option of a R2500 fine when he pleaded guilty to defrauding the South African Revenue Service of R1,8m."

She said a 2009 probe into the youth league's investment wing, Lembede Investment Holdings, had found that during Mr Mjongile's tenure as CEO, millions of rand had gone missing and no audited financial statements had been submitted or accounting records kept.

Mr Mjongile could not be reached for comment yesterday, but the ANC in the province said Ms Zille was "merely trying to divert attention from her own wrongdoing ".

phakathib@bdfm.co.za