Earlier this week, the DA revealed that the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, attended the Rugby World Cup in France with an undisclosed amount of funding obtained from an unnamed “private company”. To make matters worse, it was also confirmed that South African taxpayers covered his assistant’s bill to join him in Paris for a staggering R446 339.43.
As the DA has pointed out previously, this trip was clearly unrelated to the Minister’s official duties, and his utilisation of public funds to bankroll his assistant’s Parisian excursion is a clear violation of the Executive Members’ Ethics Act 82 of 1998 and the Executive Ethics Code.
The DA has already submitted a PAIA request to obtain further details on this matter but can also now confirm that we have filed an official complaint with the Public Protector earlier today to investigate these matters further, prepare a report on her investigation, and take remedial action.
The complaint states that the Minister is in breach of several provisions contained in the Executive Ethics Code. Amongst these are express obligations placed on ministers in Cabinet to act in good faith and in the best interests of good governance, to act in all respects in a manner consistent with the integrity of their office, and to perform their duties and exercise their powers diligently and honestly.
The Ethics Code also provides that members of Cabinet may under no circumstances use their position to enrich either themselves or improperly benefit any other person or expose themselves to any situation where there is a risk of a conflict arising between their official responsibilities and their private interests.
The DA will not allow ministers to abuse state funds for their own benefit and pleasure, especially considering the fact that the SAPS are so underfunded as is already. The DA looks forward to receiving the report from the Public Protector early next year with the appropriate recommendations.
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