Andrew Louw, MPL
DA Northern Cape: Provincial Leader
The Democratic Alliance is troubled by the alleged case of fraud involving a local woman who stands accused of stealing R3,8 million from Child Welfare in the city. We are, however, even more troubled by the said appointment of this alleged fraudster, who is due to go to trial in July, to a senior position in the provincial education department.
Grants are a safety net, intended for the poorest of the poor. The fact that someone has the audacity to abuse grants for their own personal gain, is unspeakable. This is a case of taking food out of the mouths of hungry children. Anyone found guilty of such an offence should surely experience the full wrath of the law. And anyone found guilty of such an offence should surely be placed on Minister of Constitutional Development, Jeff Radebe’s corruption list.
Given the above, it is unthinkable that the education department would consider someone, with such a dark cloud hanging over their head, for a senior management position. Surely an institution with even just a little bit of integrity would first wait for the outcome of the trial before jumping to appoint someone whose reliability is questionable to say the least.
The DA is not, however, surprised that the Northern Cape Education Department has jumped the gun and made such an appointment. This is a department known for its top heavy bureaucracy, which is filled with the likes of cadres who have not made the grade in other government institutions. At the same time, we have a provincial government who fails to set a good example. You just have to look at the case of MEC John Block, who despite numerous fraud and corruption charges hanging over his head, remains in control of the Northern Cape’s purse. Former Premier Hazel Jenkins and new Premier Sylvia Lucas failed to act against Block and they have set the trend for departments to follow. This can be seen in the rehiring of Deon Madyo, who himself is facing charges, to the position of Head of Ministry of the health department.
Sadly, this entire provincial government has scant regard for building a public service that is driven by accountable, transparent and caring officials and politicians. Instead, the province’s leaders choose to encourage a situation whereby those in conflict with the law are rewarded and not punished. We can only hope that the people of the province wake up to the ANC’s true colours before the entire provincial administration is robbed blind by provincial government itself.