Minister must launch investigation into SASSA CEO regarding allegations of corruption cover-up

Please find attached soundbite by Bridget Masango MP.

The DA will write to the Minister of Social Development, Lindiwe Zulu, to institute an urgent investigation against the CEO of the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA), Busisiwe Memela-Khambula, after it has come to light that not only is she allegedly linked to a nepotism cover-up, but that she is also ignoring complaints regarding irregular appointments and possible procurement corruption.

It seems the SASSA CEO is not content to simply let South Africans in her care suffer through sheer ineptitude, she also appears to have dirtied her hands by allowing corruption to thrive under her nose further disadvantaging vulnerable grant recipients.

According to the Mail & Guardian, Memela-Khambula was informed in March that a three-year cleaning contract worth R45.6 million had been awarded to Kwasa Food Suppliers, whose director is the brother-in-law of a senior SASSA official in the Eastern Cape. Despite assurances from the CEO that an investigation into this nepotism would be launched, nothing has been done, and the contract still stands.

The DA has also received complaints from SASSA employees and whistleblowers that appointments made by SASSA’s Regional Executive Manager in the Free State, Themba Matlou, has been tainted by irregularities. They have also complained that the Manager used the CEO’s name to influence procurement contracts being awarded to his preferred suppliers. These same concerns have been presented to the SASSA CEO, who has chosen to turn a blind eye and endangered the whistleblowers by forcing them to report allegation of corruption directly to the very institutions that have done nothing about these reports in the past.

It is no surprise that SASSA is in shambles and have been for years. These allegations against the CEO simply serves to highlight the damage she continues to cause such a vital agency to the detriment of millions of vulnerable South Africans that depend on their social grants for their very lives.

But Busisiwe Memela-Khambula doesn’t care, because she does not suffer the consequences. Should she be found guilty, she would simply be redeployed to another cushy position where she would be free to wreck more havoc. That is the ANC way – crucial entities are simply seen as a means to subsidize already overinflated and undeserved salaries. She should be ashamed, but from experience the DA knows that the lot of the poor does not affect the SASSA CEO.

Local Government Elections are coming up in 2021! Visit to check your voter registration status.

Home Affairs must ensure ABIS delinquents pay back the money

The DA welcomes the finding of a forensic audit of the Automated Biometric Information System (ABIS) contract between Home Affairs and EOH Mthombo.

The irregular award of the biometrics project, and subsequent irregular payments, is yet another case of what happens when officials are appointed through the policy of Cadre Deployment.

The Forensic audit has found that disciplinary and criminal charges should be considered against SITA, EOH Mthombo and Home Affairs officials involved in wrong doing.

The audit indicated that some of the personnel involved have left the organisation and hence escaped the enquiry. It simply cannot be allowed that government employees leave one department under a cloud and simply parachute into another government department for a fresh start. The DA has called on SITA and Home Affairs to ensure that those who left to avoid disciplinary action are followed and face the consequences of their action, and will follow up on this.

Those who steal money from government are really stealing money from the people of South Africa – this is not government money, it is taxpayer money.

Despite Minister Aaron Motsoaledi claiming that only R299 864.25 was lost, millions have been lost through inflated payments and the cost of having to run the existing system, HANIS, more than 7 years past its end of life in parallel with ABIS while the contractual wrangling has dragged on.

The DA has called on Home Affairs to leave no stone unturned to recoup monies lost and will continue to hold Home Affairs to account to ensure that the guilty parties face the consequences of their actions and do not enjoy a soft landing in a new redeployment.

Local Government Elections are coming up in 2021! Visit to check your voter registration status.

Minister Nxesi must clear the air on UIF suspensions

Please find attached a soundbite by Dr Michael Cardo MP.

The Minister of Employment and Labour, Thulas Nxesi, must clear the air on senior officials who were suspended from the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), pending an investigation into fraud and corruption associated with the TERS scheme.

Members of the UIF’s top brass – including the Commissioner, the chief financial officer and the chief operating officer – were suspended on full pay last September at a combined monthly cost of R450 551.39.

A spokesperson for the UIF has confirmed that both the CFO and COO returned to work two weeks ago. This took place below the radar, without any word from Minister Nxesi about disciplinary charges or hearings that might be hanging over the officials.

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) recommended that charges be brought against three senior- and four middle managers for contravening supply chain management regulations relating to the payout of the TERS benefit. The SIU investigation itself followed findings by the Auditor-General that, among other things, the UIF had paid R30 million to people with invalid ID numbers, over R40 million to state employees who were ineligible for the TERS benefit, as well as large sums to prisoners and the deceased.

In February, at a meeting of the Portfolio Committee on Employment and Labour, MPs were told that charge sheets had been compiled and handed to the implicated officials. We were assured that presiding officers and prosecutors had been appointed for disciplinary hearings that were scheduled to take place from 19 February 2021 to 26 February 2021.

It is now three months later with radio silence from the Minister.

When I submitted a parliamentary question to Minister Nxesi asking for information on the officials appearing at the disciplinary hearings, their designations, the charges against them, and the names of the presiding officers and prosecutors, he refused to answer – claiming that the information requested was “highly sensitive in nature and possibly prejudicial to the officials”.

The UIF’s CFO and COO are now back at work. We need to know whether they have gone through a proper disciplinary process; whether they have been cleared of wrongdoing; and exactly what they were accused of in the first place.

Meanwhile, there is still a cloud hanging over suspended UIF Commissioner, Teboho Maruping, which the Minister would do well to disperse.

Minister Nxesi needs to stop dodging accountability. He must demonstrate some honesty and transparency by coming clean on what is happening at the UIF.

Local Government Elections are coming up in 2021! Visit to check your voter registration status.

The truth about by-election trends.

Having been caught up in wall-to-wall mayoral selection interviews last week, I was unable to properly analyse the results of the by-elections on Wednesday 19th May.

Eventually, over the weekend, I found a spare moment to do so.

Unsurprisingly, I discovered that the truth about those results is entirely different from the picture painted in the newspapers, and parroted by broadcasters.

A summary of the main trends revealed in these by-elections are these: 

  • the ANC’s support base is collapsing in South Africa’s cities.
  • In contrast the DA is showing considerable growth in wards representing 89% of South Africans —  ie among both black and white voters.

Of course, there was also some bad news.  We lost four wards in specific circumstances where smaller ethnic- and race-based parties are splintering the opposition, and making it difficult for us to do the really important work of South African politics  —   beating the ANC.

This is bad news, not only for the DA, but for all South Africans and we need to address it.

But it is only one part of the picture, (and a small one at that).

The really important trends (that already became apparent in by-elections during 2020 and were reinforced during 2021), have not been analysed anywhere, as far as I am aware.  I therefore do so here:

The bottom line is this: Across 64 by-elections where the DA faced-off against the ANC, in November and December 2020 and in May 2021, the ANC grew in only 18 and declined in 46.

In contrast, the DA grew in 36 – well over half — and declined in 28.

Moreover, the DA’s support doubled in several of these by-elections, while ANC support doubled in none.

Some of the most notable examples include:

  1. In the City of Cape Town (in the by-elections of 11 November 2020) the ANC declined by 37%, (from 71% to 46% in Ward 88 Philippi), where the overwhelming majority of voters are black.
  2. In Tshwane, in Wards 3 and 92, both majority black and both contested last week, the ANC polled a paltry 31.6 % and 31.5% respectively.  In both these wards, political commentators were predicting a DA loss.  We had a comfortable win, so the result was predictably ignored by the same commentators.
  3. In Ekurhuleni Ward 42, a ward in which the ANC had an absolute majority in the 2019 general election, we came within 88 votes of winning.
  4. The DA is growing in wards with a demographic profile in which we previously would never have stood a chance.  In Ward 92, Central Pretoria, a ward that is now majority black, the DA won comfortably last week.  We came within 85 Votes of winning a black ward in Matjhabeng and took a voting district off the ANC in a ward in Ekurhuleni.
  5. We are the only party building the moderate, non-racial centre of politics  —  and we are able to beat back challenges from both the Freedom Front Plus, and the ANC, on the same day in the same City.  No other party can do this.

These are simply remarkable results compared to what we were polling only a few years ago.

A truthful analysis of the by-elections reveal that it is the ANC that is imploding while the DA is growing across broad right across South Africa.

Yes, we do have localised problems and we are doing our best to understand and to reverse the negative trends.  But the full picture tells a different story.  And it is a story that, for some reason, the media and columnists refuse to tell.

Either they genuinely do not understand it, or they wish to deliberately mislead the public for their own motives.

And, irony of ironies, having falsely described the DA as “imploding” some columnists then blame the DA for “letting South Africa down” by not growing, as Makhudu Sefara did in the Sunday Times last week.

I have given up trying to understand the South African media and its motives.  All I can do is try to get as close to the truth as possible, and convey this to those who are interested in facts, rather than the agendas of those who call themselves “political commentators”.

DA launches petition against draconian Gun Bill

Please click here for a video clip by Andrew Whitfield MP

The DA has today launched a petition against the Firearms Control Amendment Bill which proposes a ban on firearm ownership for self-defence by civilians. We must protect gun ownership for self-defence as it is the last line of defence for millions of South Africans.

South Africa has one of the highest murder rates in the world. Just by walking in the streets, South Africans are exposed to dangers similar to those faced by people in some war-torn countries. Disarming law-abiding citizens in the current crime-ridden environment is reckless, ill-advised and places many innocent civilians at the mercy of criminals.

We urge the public to visit and sign the petition to keep “self-defence” as a reason to possess a firearm. This will go a long way towards putting a stop to this ridiculous and irrational piece of legislation.

We also urge the public to oppose this draconian Bill and to submit their objections to and to the DA at

SAPS is in a state of disarray, its dismal failure can be felt by South Africans from all walks of life, especially those in rural and gang-infected communities where police stations are understaffed and under-resourced.

SAPS should be making it easier for South Africans to feel safe, not more difficult.

Local Government Elections are coming up in 2021! Visit to check your voter registration status.

DA calls on DIRCO to fire wayward Ambassador over destruction of property abroad

The DA is calling on the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Naledi Pandor, to fire David Kweli Nkosi, the diplomat who allegedly caused damage worth €42 000 (R714 0000) to his Vienna, Austria, apartment, and to recoup this and other money from him.


In response to a written parliamentary question from the DA, Minister Pandor revealed that Nkosi has also caused R53 612 worth of damage to his apartment in India and expected the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) to pick up the tab.


It is not only unacceptable that this official was redeployed after dragging South Africa’s name through the mud, but that not a single attempt appears to have been made to recuperate the R767 612 he cost DIRCO through his damaging behaviour. Furthermore, it seems that months later, the landlord in Austria is still awaiting renumeration for the damage because DIRCO has not finished consulting on the matter.


The honeymoon needs to come to an urgent end, and it is with this in mind that the DA first proposed an amendment to the Foreign Service Members Bill calling for the addition of the clause that any official given custodianship of any property both immovable or movable will be responsible for it and on completion of service has an obligation to hand back the said property in the same or similar condition, within reason. If damages or costs have been incurred that are beyond wear and tear, then those costs must be repaid by that official.


Diplomacy is about building relationships and respect with other countries. Incidents like the one in Austria have a counter effect.


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Covid-corruption: President Ramaphosa must act on Mkhize’s role in multi-million Digital Vibes contract

Please find attached soundbite by Siviwe Gwarube MP.

The DA calls for the expansion of the ongoing Special Investigating Unit (SIU) investigation into reports that Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, is implicated in an improperly awarded contract by the Department of Health to Digital Vibes – a company run by close associates of his. This comes after an elaborate network of family and friends benefited from a contract estimated to cost the State R150 million.

The Daily Maverick reported that the original dodgy contract of R80 million was seemingly more than initially discovered. More information came to light detailing how the friends of Mkhize; Tahera Mather and Naadhira Mitha, and their friends and families benefitted from millions of rands in Covid-19 contracts and NHI related work.

It further seems that Digital Vibes was contracted in part to do work that should have been done by the Department of Health communications department, or at the very least submitted invoices for such work.

President Ramaphosa’s silence on the matter is deafening. How can the person entrusted with leading the health response to this pandemic be implicated in the looting of millions of rands meant for the people of South Africa and yet the President is silent?

Unless the President takes immediate, decisive action to fully investigate Mkhize, the message to South Africans will be loud and clear: the politically powerful will be allowed to commit as many acts of corruption as they wish for as long as they want, because the ANC government does not care about accountability when it comes to the theft of public money.

The Daily Maverick has revealed that:

  • R90 million from the inflated contract was channeled to businesses, entities and the personal accounts of Mitha and Mather and their friends and family, with R1 million going to late AmaBhaca King Madzikane II Diko’s Royal Bhaca Projects, who was previously linked to a personal protective equipment (PPE) corruption scandal;
  • Digital Vibes were paid millions to set up interviews and public appearances for the Health Minister, and even for accompanying him fact-finding missions – this should have been handled internally by the Health Department’s communications team;
  • Digital Vibes reportedly spent their millions from the contract on bankrolling expensive shopping sprees, spa treatments and home renovations; and
  • Digital Vibes marked up services rendered by third parties by up to 300% and pocketed the difference as profit.

And as the article rightly states, “Even if Mkhize had been completely unaware of his associates’ dealings, the alleged looting, in the very least, occurred under his nose.”

Minister Mkhize cannot continue to insulate himself from this massive corruption scandal that implicates him and those closest to him, particularly when Digital Vibes was doing work that is meant to be done by the Department.

This is why the DA is calling in President Ramaphosa to make good on any commitments he has made about fighting corruption and expand the scope of the SIU investigation to take into account this new information and specifically Mkhize’s role in the whole mess. Ultimately, if Mkhize is found to have improperly benefitted and his friends benefitted from these funds, he must go.

South Africa is in the throes of a global pandemic with only a fraction of the population having received their vaccine. We cannot have a fox guarding the henhouse that is the public purse while all this is unfolding.

Local Government Elections are coming up in 2021! Visit to check your voter registration status.

DA calls on Civilian Secretariat for Police to brief Parliament on draconian Guns Bill

The DA calls on the Civilian Secretariat to appear before Parliament’s Portfolio Committee of Police to give a detailed presentation on the contents of the Firearms Control Amendment Bill, which seeks to stop law-abiding citizens from possessing firearms.

Whilst we realise that this Bill still has a long legislative process to undergo, the public outcry is of such an extent that we deserve answers to the many questions surrounding it. Why are valuable resources being used to go after lawful gun owners while crime syndicates run amok with illegal guns? How must vulnerable South Africans, especially isolated farming communities, protect themselves?

The DA wants to know the rationale behind this current piece of legislation and what empirical evidence was used to support it. Particularly the clause around the removal of “self-defence” as a reason to possess a firearm.

SAPS has failed to deliver on its crime-fighting mandate and removing law-abiding citizens’ right to own a gun is equal to removing their last line of defence, we cannot allow this to happen.

SAPS should be making it easier for South Africans to feel safe, not more difficult. It is for this reason that the DA will be opposing this Bill. We also urge the public to oppose this draconian Bill and to submit their objections to and to the DA at

We call on the public to copy the DA into their submissions, and we will ensure that their voices are accounted for and heard.

South Africa is like a war zone with a murder rate that exceeds some war-torn countries, defunding the police and disarming law-abiding citizens in the existing environment is not only reckless but will place the lives of many more South Africans at risk

Local Government Elections are coming up in 2021! Visit to check your voter registration status.

Alcohol restrictions and any ban must be rejected

The DA urges government to reject attempts by lobby groups such as SA Alcohol Policy Alliance (Saapa) to sneak in major liquor policy changes using the National State of Disaster.

We have taken note of the radical proposals put through by Saapa to make amendments to various pieces of legislation without any public participation process or oversight of Members of Parliament.

These include:

  • Zero breath and blood concentration levels for drivers;
  • Banning all special offers for reduced price alcoholic beverages;
  • Banning all alcohol advertising, except at point of sale;
  • Suspending for a minimum of three months, or revoking, the licences of outlets that violate regulations.

Any changes to legislation such as those proposed must only be done through a legislative process, not through the back door of an illogical and irrational ongoing State of Disaster.

It has become far too easy for government to target the liquor industry than to fix the collapsing healthcare system. Government is also more than welcome to put back on the table the Liquor Amendment Bill which has gathered dust under two successive Ministers. Then we can deal with any proposals put through by lobby groups.

However, we would simply not be having these discussions if we had embarked on a meaningful vaccination programme.

This last weekend, a mere 5601 people were vaccinated. That is where all of government’s energy should be focused on, not on entertaining undemocratic proposals such as the one from Saapa.

Local Government Elections are coming up in 2021! Visit to check your voter registration status.

Self defence is the last line of defence for millions of South Africans

The DA has noted with concern the contents of the draft Firearms Control Amendment Bill, particularly the removal of “self-defence” as a reason to possess a firearm. We will be vehemently opposing this and other elements of the bill when it comes to Parliament.

Should Minister of Police Bheki Cele succeed with this draconian legislation it will be a victory for the criminals who already enjoy a licence to commit violent crime. It will remove the last line of defence for millions of law-abiding South Africans.

We are calling on all South Africans who share our concerns to urgently submit their comments on the draft amendment bill to the Civilian Secretariat for Police within 45 days of publication of the notice published on 21 May 2021.

Rising rates of violent crime together with outrageous budget cuts to the South African Police Service (SAPS) have left millions of South Africans more vulnerable than ever before. The SAPS is in a state of disarray as can be seen by the chaos at the Central Firearms Registry and the backlog in DNA case exhibits.

While the ANC are supporting a R26 million increase to the VIP protection unit they also support slashing the crime prevention budget by R3.8 Billion. This effectively means more guns to protect VIPs and less boots on the ground to protect ordinary South Africans.

In the first quarter of this year nearly 5000 people were murdered in South Africa while there were 4500 cases of attempted murder. Defunding the police and disarming law-abiding citizens in this environment is reckless and will place the lives of many more South Africans at risk.

Minister Cele has made his views on gun ownership crystal clear on more than one occasion. He wants to disarm law-abiding citizens while his very own SAPS “loses” hundreds of its own firearms into criminal hands every year.
SAPS is a rapidly fading thin blue line which, by its own admission, cannot deliver on its mandate according to the National Police Commissioner. They should be making it easier for South Africans to feel safe, not more difficult.