The Department of Public Works and Infrastructure is unbothered by the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) decision to file a complaint with the public protector against its minister, Sihle Zikalala.
Earlier this month, the DA claimed Zikalala had made false and misleading claims regarding the number of construction mafia-related arrests made.
In June, Zikalala announced there had been more than 200 arrests in connection with “construction mafia” syndicates countrywide.
The party said the police failed to corroborate Zikalala’s claims and accused Zikalala of breaching the executive ethics code by misleading the public.
Construction mafias are armed groups who disrupt government building projects and demand 30% of the tender money before allowing work to continue.
It is alleged that some are contractors in the construction industry.
The allegations by the DA led to the department giving the DA a seven-day ultimatum to withdraw and apologise for calling Zikalala a liar.
The DA refused to apologise and instead called on Zikalala to release the records of construction mafia arrests.
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DA shadow minister of public works and infrastructure, Sello Seitlholo, said failure to release this information within the stipulated time frame will leave the DA with no option but to approach Parliament’s joint committee on ethics and members’ interests and request that they investigate the potential violation of the Executive Members Ethics Act and Code of Conduct by the minister.
The Department of Public Works said it will not be releasing any records to the DA.