Anthony Benadie MPL
Provincial Leader – Mpumalanga
Public works, roads and transport, MEC Dikeledi Mahlangu, has refused to release documents relating to the Pilgrims Rest tender process. The MEC also refuses to release a departmental report on consultations between the department and the Pilgrims Rest Community, held last week. But why? These are public documents.
On Tuesday, the DA wrote to the MEC requesting the documents. Shortly after receiving the DA’s letter, the MEC was served with court papers in which 13 Pilgrims Rest Business persons and community organisations are seeking to interdict the MEC and her department from evicting them on 31 July 2012. Opportunistically, MEC Mahlangu, in a gross misinterpretation of the law, declared the documents and all matter relating to the Pilgrims Rest tender process, sub judice.
According to the DA’s legal advisors, the documents requested are not subject to the sub judice rule due to the fact that they are public documents in any event. The DA is therefore rightfully entitled to the documents.
To this end, we gave MEC Mahlangu an ultimatum to make available all tender documentation and reports as requested, no later than 17h00 on Wednesday – which she did not do. The DA also warned the MEC that any attempt to destroy, tamper or misplace the documents may be punishable by law. The DA’s legal team is working on this matter.
Every day more questions surrounding this tender process emerge, and it is unthinkable why the MEC is determined not to deal with the real matter at hand, namely the future and sustainability of Pilgrim Rest.
The DA will not rest until the full truth around the Pilgrim’s Rest bid adjudication process is exposed, and will continue to pursue every avenue to keep this government and its administration accountable.