Minister De Lille wants proof? Here it is

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has taken note of the Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, Patricia De Lille’s challenge to “those who have evidence against (her)” to “bring it on”.

We have taken up the Minister’s challenge and produce the following damning findings against her:

  • She has ducked and dived responsibility for the now infamous Beitbridge Border ‘washing line’ with a price tag of more than R40 million. A Special Investigative Unit (SIU) report established that the Minister erred when she issued an emergency directive on the fence to the Director-General of the Department of Public Works and (DPWI) on 16 March 2020.
  • The report found that these instructions “placed an enormous project and compliance risk on the Department”.
  • A National Treasury report found that “it would seem the Minister had a contract, supplier or contractor in mind” when she instructed that a variation order be issued to seemingly ensure that a specific contractor, Magwa Construction was appointed.
  • In reaching its conclusions on the Beitbridge border fence, Treasury warned that “[in] terms of separation of powers, the Executive Authority, must not interfere in administrative functions.”
  • Recently, in papers filed with the North Gauteng Division of the High Court, Minister De Lille herself admitted to identifying a service provider for “special” media services in her department.
  • The Minister’s former Legal Advisor was tasked by the Minister with attempting to mediate a dispute between the Independent Development Trust (IDT) and a contractor while the two entities were involved in litigation. Following legal advice, the former CEO of the IDT, Coceko Pakade, informed the Minister’s Legal Advisor in writing that they were “concerned about a process of mediation being initiated with persons … that have engaged in fraud, fronting and other illegal activities”.
  • Further evidence of ministerial interference relates to a R10 million payment to a service provider who approached the Minister directly for her assistance in March 2020.  Correspondence between the Minister’s Community Liaison Officer and departmental officials indicate that pressure was placed on the staff of the Regional Office to effect the payment – once again an overreach from the Executive Authority.

These findings prove the Minister’s ongoing political meddling and bullying in her department. It shows that Minister De Lille is a constitutional delinquent, has operated outside of her mandate, and has conducted herself in a manner that is at odds with her oath of office. She must be fired.