Transport HOD must go

Harold McGluwa, MPL

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

It has been over 180 days since the initial arrest of Transport, Safety & Liaison Head of Department, Stephen Jonkers. He faces serious criminal charges relating to corruption, fraud and violating the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA), yet to date no action has been taken against him.

This man must be suspended immediately without pay until the cases against him have been resolved.

The DA strongly condemns the inaction by Premier Sylvia Lucas and MEC Mac Jack, who have not acted against the charged HOD.

Mr Jonkers 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 tenders in excess of R25 million without following proper procedures.

To make matters worse, the DA has received information indicating that Mr Jonkers is in fact continuing with corrupt practices at the department.

We have received information indicating that, in a clear violation of supply chain regulations, Jonkers approved the appointment of two different contractors for learner transport in the Schmidtsdrift – Bathlaping areas to schools in Douglas.

In two letters addressed to different service providers, a month after the other, Jonkers confirms their appointment to render transport on the same route.

One of the contractors is allegedly not even in the business of transport, and at the time of appointment, was found to have no busses.

We have received a tip-off from within the department indicating that only one company actually provides the learner transport, but both firms invoice the department for payment.

Instead of facing disciplinary action for such alleged mismanagement and his arrest on serious charges, it has rather been MEC Mabilo, who after taking a decision to suspend the controversial Jonkers, was later himself demoted in a cabinet reshuffle.

Even as this all unfolds, Premier Lucas and MEC Jack remain mum on issues of alleged corruption and maladministration in the Transport department.

We have already written to the Public Service Commission’s Director-General, Prof. Richard Levin, requesting that they investigate the Jonkers matter.

I will also write to the National Treasury’s Office of the Accountant-General requesting a forensic investigation into the learner transport matter, and will be submitting the information we received anonymously as evidence.