Legislature Speaker Must Investigate MEC’s Misleading Responses

Anthony Benadie MPL DA Provincial Leader – Mpumalanga The DA has submitted a formal request to the Speaker of the Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature, Mr William Lubisi, to investigate whether agriculture and rural development MEC Violet Siwela deliberately misled the DA in written responses to parliamentary questions. On 25 March the DA received responses to written questions from MEC Siwela pertaining to the department’s sale of 310 head cattle on an auction in Ermelo, after which the proceeds were paid into Mr Job Mthombeni’s personal bank account. The responses were all incoherent, contradictory, and in some cases made no sense at all. Click here to view the questions with the MEC’s responses. In response to questions 1c and 1d about the revenue generated by the sale, MEC Siwela claims no revenue was generated, only to contradict herself that revenue from the sale was used to purchase replacement cattle and also disbursed to the department’s Livestock Improvement Programme. Throughout the rest of her responses MEC Siwela makes continued reference to the Livestock Improvement programme, but despite our best efforts and continuous requests to departmental officials over the past few weeks, the DA could not find any documentary or physical evidence of this programme. We also could not find any proof, past or present, of any budget, performance objectives or programme management in any departmental annual report or annual performance plan, making mention of a ‘Livestock Improvement programme’, raising our suspicion that this programme or document does not exist. So too, in response to question 4, MEC Siwela claims that the department will account for this transaction “in line with the accounting on cattle disposed through the programme”. MEC Siwela alone will know what on earth is meant by “accounting on cattle”. The DA has now written to Speaker Lubisi, requesting an investigation into the authenticity of MEC Siwela’s responses, the existence of the Livestock Improvement Programme, and to determine whether the MEC deliberately misled the DA through her responses. It is barely three months since MEC Siwela has taken office, and is already trying her best to evade parliamentary oversight and not stand accountable of over R1 million of public funds. The DA will not tolerate such actions and will use every means to our disposal to ensure that the MEC and her department are held accountable.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *