THE OFFICE of the public protector has increased the scope of its investigation into the political handling of the cost overruns associated with the construction of the Gautrain to include allegations of bribery. Taxpayers and opposition parties have used the cost overruns on the train service as a stick to beat government with for years. When the Gautrain was first punted in 2000, a R3bn price tag was attached to it. At the end of the programme, the total cost was closer to R31bn.
Ekurhuleni metro council defied legal opinion and irregularly appointed a company that it later paid for work it had not done. Gobodo Forensic Investigative Accounting, in a report on its investigation, said the municipality had already paid QBIT R6-million of a R32-million contract to develop and implement the council’s institutional review project.
The government has comprehensive public procurement regulations in place but is weak in implementing them, deputy Public Protector Kevin Malunga said this week. The purpose of this regulatory framework was to ensure the government procured goods or services in a way that was fair, equitable, transparent, competitive, and cost-effective, he told the annual GovLaw Conference in Pretoria.
Financial mismanagement and maladministration, the wilful purging of staff members and an admission by SABC acting chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng that he did not have a matric certificate are some of the stark findings made by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela into the public broadcaster’s affairs. On Monday Madonsela released the report into the SABC, titled “When governance and ethics fail”, which shows how Motsoeneng ruled the broadcaster with an iron fist and purged employees who stood in his way or testified against him at a disciplinary hearing.
President Jacob Zuma should institute disciplinary measures against Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela said on Thursday. The awarding of an R800 million tender for fisheries patrol services to the Sekunjalo Marine Service Consortium (SMSC) was irregular, Madonsela said in Pretoria. “The president is to consider taking disciplinary action against the minister for her reckless dealing with state money and services which resulted in fruitless and wasteful expenditure,” she said.
Transport Minister Dipuo Peters is on public protector Thuli Madonsela’s radar for alleged improper conduct involving a tussle over R500-million in traffic fines and licence renewal fees. The investigation stems from a letter in which Peters demanded that then acting head of Road Traffic Management Corporation Collins Letsoalo hand over R507-million collected by the agency since September last year. Letsoalo refused, stating in his response that doing so would be in breach of the Public Finance Management Act.
The public protector says that the agriculture minister should learn from a Swedish politician who resigned after misusing state money. An angry public protector has advised the minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, to learn from the example of a Swedish politician who resigned after using state money to buy Toblerone chocolates “without being investigated by a public protector”. In a wide-ranging interview, Joemat-Pettersson told the Mail & Guardian last week that she had lost respect for the office of the public protector after she found herself theRead More
Public protector Thuli Madonsela said a “blitz” by her officials had uncovered government-subsidised housing projects that were often shambolic, and instances where beneficiaries were selling their RDP houses for as little as R2000. Madonsela told parliament’s portfolio committee on human settlements that 10% of complaints received by her office in 2010/2011 related to maladministration in the delivery of government-subsidised housing. “By July 2012, the public protector had received approximately 1987 complaints relating to maladministration in the delivery of RDP houses,” said Madonsela.