Desiree Van Der Walt MP, DA Shadow Minister of Public Service and Administration
21 January 2019
The Democratic Alliance (DA) will refer Public Service & Administration Minister Ayanda Dlodlo and Deputy Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Kebby Maphatsoe, to the Public Protector for possible breaches of the Executive Members’ Ethics Act.
Reports over the weekend confirmed that Minister Dlodlo, Deputy Minister Maphatsoe and former diplomat Lerema Kekana scored millions from a broadband deal which ended up wasting R1.7 billion of tax payers’ money, more than double its original R600 million budget. The DA-led City of Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba uncovered this alleged corruption stemming from the previous ANC administration. The City assisted investigators from the US department of justice in their probe of possible fraudulent and corrupt activities linked to the international company, Ericsson.
The three ANC cadres were directors of CitiConnect Communications (CCC), the BEE partner involved with the project. While Dlodlo now pleads ignorance about this contract, reports indicate that she earned nearly R3 million from selling her shares in this company.
As directors in the company they would have had knowledge of its financial operations and shortly before resigning both Dlodlo and Maphatsoe signed loan agreements to the value of over R1 billion between CCC and Ericsson. This means that both Dlodlo and Maphatsoe are likely to have known of potential improprieties related to the contract and as a result might be compromised in their current executive roles.
The Public Protector should investigate potential conflicts of interest on the parts of Dlodlo and Maphatsoe in terms of Section 2.2(c) of the Executive Members’ Ethics Act of 1998 which sets out that executive members should disclose all business and financial interests.
With the damning revelations coming out of the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, it is clear that scores of ANC ministers are implicated in corruption. What these findings have revealed is that there is no ‘good ANC or bad ANC’. It is the same organisation with the same leaders who looted the public purse under former President Jacob Zuma.
Under a DA government those found guilty of corruption will be sentenced to a minimum of 15 years in jail. We will also establish an independent unit dedicated to identifying, fighting and prosecuting corruption. All politicians and government officials will be required to undergo regular lifestyle audits and all political office holders will be held personally accountable through direct elections.