NW Cabinet Reshuffle – Criminal charges and incompetency overlooked

Chris Hattingh MPL

DA Leader in North West

The NW DA has noted the long overdue NW cabinet reshuffle and once again is appalled, not only by some of the appointments, but also by the phony motivations provided by Premier Modise.

The Premier dismissed Louisa Mabe from her cabinet, just more than a year after she was removed from the Finance portfolio to put NW Education back on track. This was allegedly because of Mabe’s involvement in R16million irregularities. This motivation sounds hollow given that the MEC for Public Works and Roads, Raymond Elisha, remains in the cabinet even when his Department is implicated in tender irregularities, maladministration and Supreme Court cases involving hundreds of millions – as a result his Roads maintenance and construction function had been abdicated to the National Department.

The reasons provided for the dismissal of the former MEC for Social Development, Mosetsanagape Mokomele-Mothibi included  her abuse of member’s privileges in attending the ANC’s Mangaung conference using public funds, should normally be applauded. However by the Premier’s own admission four other members of her Executive – Magome Masike, Raymond Elisha, Louisa Mabe and Motlalepule Rosho – did exactly the same during the Mangaung Conference.  Masike, Rosho and Elisha did not even get a slap on the wrists, nor did they repay the abused funds.

Premier Thandi Modise’s statement that her focus in the reshuffling is on “accelerating service delivery and entrenching good governance” sounds hollow if the appointment of the new MEC for Local Government is considered. Manketsi Tlhape was the former Mayor of Tswaing, before she left under a cloud the Tswaing Municipality and administration collapsed, was put under a Section 139 administration, a HAWKS investigation and a forensic investigation was also launched. In addition a widespread withholding of rates and taxes in reaction to the Tswaing maladministration, non-delivery and abuse of public funds was implemented.  The outcome of these investigations, true to the NW standard of non-accountability and secrecy, still remains a closely guarded secret.

After the 2011 Local Government elections, Tlhape was tagged by the ANC to become the Ngaka Modiri Molema Municipality’s Executive Mayor – however the NMMDM ANC Councillors, based on Tlhape’s unsuitability for public office, defied ANC instructions for more than two years by refusing to elect her into that position.

The appointment of Manketsi Tlhape as the NW Member of the Executive responsible for Local Government is an insult to the people of the NW, all increasingly victims of collapsing Local Government service delivery – something that Tlhape has become synonymous with.

It is clear that the reshuffling has more to do with political repositioning than service delivery. The new cabinet continue to lack credibility, expertise and with less than a year left of the current term will certainly not be able to change the appalling NW delivery and accountability crisis.

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