The South African National Civic Organisation in the North West says it is disappointed by Premier Job Mokgoro’s State of the Province Address (Sopa), noting it lacks action.
On Thursday, Mokgoro outlined measures undertaken to bring stability to the North West.
He told the provincial legislature that several senior and executive managers had been suspended and were facing disciplinary action, including the head of public works and roads, and the head of department of health.
“Five officials in the department of Health are facing disciplinary charges linked to fraud, corruption and transgression of Treasury regulations and the PFMA (Public Finance Management Act) involving more than R 350m,” he said.
Two directors within the office of the premier have also been suspended on charges linked to irregular payments in relation to the NEPO Data Dynamics ICT contract.
“The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, commonly known as the Hawks, is handling forty-nine (49) cases involving theft, fraud and contraventions of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, 2004, related to the North West Province,” Mokgoro said.
He added that the total amount involved in these cases is R2 497bn.
“Most of the suspensions mentioned by the Premier are overtaken by 60 days as prescribed by the labour laws of our country. Justice delayed is justice denied,” Sanco provincial secretary Packet Seaketso said in a statement on Saturday.
He added that the premier has been speaking against fraud and corruption for the last seven months but no decisive action has been taken yet.
“The more you place employees on indefinite suspensions the more it becomes apparent to us that suspensions are used punitively as a tool for a witch hunt by those who refuse to be praise singers,” he said.
The ANC confirmed Mokgoro as the province’s premier in June last year to replace Supra Mahumapelo.
Mahumapelo was forced to resign in May, after weeks of violent protests calling for him to step down. The province was also placed under administration last year by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Sanco initially welcomed the decision of bringing Mokgoro on board, describing him as a “seasoned administrator and a man of integrity”.
Seaketso recently said that the organisation would no longer work with the provincial task team (PTT), which was in charge of the province.
“The manner in which the PTT handles political processes is uncalled for and we can no longer tolerate the level of political opportunism and unilateral decision-making which is an antithesis of how the ANC conducts its political business,” Seaketso said.
The PTT was established last year after the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) decided to disband Mahumapelo’s provincial executive committee (PEC).
“The ANC PTT in-fights have contributed to a lack of action against affected mayors on the VBS matter,” Seaketso said on Saturday.
The PTT in December recalled six mayors in the province, including four who had invested money from their municipalities in the collapsed VBS Mutual Bank.
This is after it emerged that several North West municipalities including, Madibeng, Moretele, Mahikeng and Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati invested R314m in the defunct bank.
“We have completed forensic investigations into the VBS matter in the four affected municipalities, namely Madibeng, Moretele and Mahikeng Local Municipalities as well as DR RSM, where state funds in excess of have been irregularly invested into the VBS Mutual Bank and lost,” Mokgoro said during his SOPA on Friday.
“We have instructed the affected municipalities to take the necessary steps against the implicated officials; both management and where proven, councillors.”
He added that there are 22 municipalities in the North West under administration.
“There is no clear action pronounced from the speech about what has been done to hold those responsible accountable,” Seaketso said.
– From News24