Was MEC Mabilo punished for fighting corruption?

Harold McGluwa, ID MPL

DA Northern Cape – Provincial Chairperson Spokesperson on Transport, Safety & Liaison

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is disturbed at the timing of the “redeployment”, or as we see it demotion, of former Transport, Safety & Liaison MEC, Patrick Mabilo, after recent media reports indicate he made attempts to fight alleged corruption and fraud within the department.

According to media reports, MEC Mabilo, who is now at the helm of the Environment & Nature Conservation Department, had previously made appeals to the national Minister of Police, Nathi Mthethwa, and Northern Cape Premier, Sylivia Lucas, to have his Head of Department (HOD), Stephen Jonkers, suspended.

The HOD has made appearances in the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court to face serious charges of fraud, corruption and contravening the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA). He is accused of allegedly receiving a kickback of R260 000 from the owner of a bus company to which he awarded a 5-year contract worth R10-million. He also allegedly awarded three bus companies contracts worth in excess of R25-million without going out to tender, for the provision of subsidised transport services in the Springbok and Barkley West areas.

It is scandalous that in a province where 440 523 out of 1.1-million people, nearly 40%, do not have access to subsidized transport, those who do, use transport services whose operators have allegedly been appointed through illegal means.

It is simply unacceptable that this HOD, much like MEC’s in the province who face serious charges of fraud, corruption, and contravening the PFMA, still serve in office.

The DA is concerned that under the ANC, those in the provincial government who fight fraud and corruption seem to be punished, whilst seemingly “crooked cadres” are rewarded. We are again calling on the department’s new MEC, Mac Jack, to do the right thing and place the HoD on immediate suspension, and to initiate its own internal disciplinary measures.