VBS: DA lays charges of fraud against West Rand District Municipality officials

Please find attached an English soundbite by the DA Shadow Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Kevin Mileham MP.

 Today, along with my colleague, DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Finance, Adriana Randall MPL, I have laid charges of fraud in terms of Sections 7 (2) and 64 (3) of the Municipal Financial Management Act against officials at the West Rand District Municipality who allegedly made illegal deposits with VBS Mutual Bank.

The West Rand District Municipality is one of 15 municipalities which made deposits with VBS, despite an instruction by National Treasury against this practice. The DA will also be laying charges against officials at the other 14 municipalities who were complicit in these illegal deposits.

These municipalities include:

  • Vhembe District Municipality
  • Fetakgomo Greater Tubatse Local Municipality;
  • Lepelle-Nkumpi Local Municipality;
  • Limpopo 345 Local Municipality;
  • Dr Ruth Segomotso Mompati District Municipality;
  • Mafikeng Local Municipality;
  • Ephraim Mogale Local Municipality;
  • Makhado Municipality;
  • Madibeng Local Municipality;
  • Merefong Municipality;
  • West Rand District Municipality;
  • Elias Motsoaledi Local Municipality; and
  • Dr JS Moroka Municipality.

Some of the implicated municipalities are among the worst run and most financially unstable municipalities in the country, and with the liquidity crisis at VBS, the municipalities are now at risk of losing their combined R1.5 billion in deposits.

The South African Police Service must prioritise the thorough investigation of these charges and ensure that those who approved these municipal deposits are held accountable.

The DA will not tire in the fight against municipal officials who misappropriate funds meant to better the lives of South Africans, especially the poor.

It is unacceptable that municipal officials, who have a clear mandate to deliver service to the people, abuse their powerful positions and unduly access money which should be used for service delivery.

It is clear that the ANC cannot be trusted with the people’s money. Change will only come under a DA-led government, which will always put the people and their interests first.

DA urges SAPS to ensure full accountability against officials who turned away family wanting to report their autistic child missing

This statement follows our visit to the Mamelodi SAPS Station today by DA Shadow Minister of Police, Zakhele Mbhele MP and Member of Gauteng Legislature, Adriana Randall MPL.

 Please find attached soundbites in English and IsiZulu by Mr Mbhele.

Today the DA visited the Mamelodi Police Station following reports that the police initially refused to open a missing persons case for the family of a ten-year-old autistic girl, Katlego “Katli” Joja who was later found dead in a river.

The DA sends our heartfelt condolences to the Joja family who had to bury their young ‘Katli’ at the weekend.

The DA conducted an oversight visit to the police station to get to the bottom as to why the police allegedly turned away a family of an autistic child with the excuse that they “have to wait 48 hours”.

The police cannot turn anyone who wishes to report a missing person away, let alone the distressed family of a missing special needs child.

The fact that this reportedly happened highlights the under-training and soft-on-accountability culture in the police service that fosters lax standards of unprofessional conduct.

It is for this reason that the DA calls on the police to institute disciplinary proceedings against the SAPS officials who neglected their duty to assist Katli’s family.

We were pleased to hear from station and cluster management present at our oversight meeting today that they are taking the matter seriously: notices of disciplinary action were served last Monday on members who were on duty at the Community Service Centre at the time that the Joja family came to report missing Katlego and the station management are awaiting statements from the family to enable the disciplinary process to get underway.

The DA urges that the SAPS ensures full accountability for those found guilty of misconduct.

It is the police’s duty to protect the most the vulnerable in our society, especially our children.

It is an indictment on the ANC government and the SAPS top brass which continues to fail our people due to the under-resourced and under-trained police service. Despite the failings of top leadership, the DA does wish to acknowledge the rapid response and massive activation of resources mounted once station management was made aware of the initial failings by the frontline junior officers a little later that same day namely that:

  • vehicles were dispatched and search-and-rescue dogs brought in from the Thursday night;
  • 2 houses of traditional healers were searched to eliminate the  suspicion of muti murder and a helicopter search was activated;
  • a mass pamphlet/flyer drive was implemented and normal procedures were followed of checking with health facilities and neighbouring police stations, including the mobilisation of resources from outside the station precinct; and
  • additionally on the day that Katlego was found, the station communications officer visited churches to appeal for information and, once Katlego was found, the EHW (Employee Health & Wellness) service of the SAPS was brought in to offer counselling to the family.

The DA will continue mounting pressure on Police Minister Bheki Cele to ensure that no child faces undue risk due to the police’s inability to ensure safety in our communities.

DA Gauteng Debates Provincial Treasury Budget for 2017/18

The following speeches were delivered in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature today by DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Finance, Adriana Randall MPL, DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Finance, Mike Moriarty MPL, during the debate on the Provincial Treasury 2017/18 budget.
Speech by
Adriana Randall MPL
“This budget must work for the people of Gauteng”

  • This must be a budget for our people, a budget for growth and a budget for prosperity. The kind of growth and prosperity that sees homes being built and jobs being created. That is what the people of Gauteng want done with their money.
  • Due to the ANC’s mismanagement of the economy, SA has more than nine million people who are without work, of which six million, are mainly young and black. To paint an even bleaker picture, three million young South Africans under the age of 25 are Not in Education, Training or Employment (NEET).
  • There is no question around the need to transform the economy so that more people are able to participate in and contribute to it. So we must therefore not allow the people of Gauteng to be under the impression that it will come under so –called radical economic transformation, which is nothing more than a ruse to cover the nefarious and shadowy acts of a criminal network in Saxonwold.

The full speech can be obtained here.
Speech by
Mike Moriarty MPL
“Gauteng’s not so open tender adjudication process”

  • The MEC and the Department has been crowing about the open tender system for some time. However, if one tries to ascertain where and when the next tender adjudication is to be then you will struggle.
  • This is after a google search for “Gauteng tender adjudication”, which produces a list where the top story is from 2 April 2015, two years ago, saying “First Gauteng tender decided in public” and the second link is Treasury’s website.
  • So I ask you MEC, please can you assist. Can you please tell this house where and when the next public tender adjudication will be and how can we find out for ourselves in the future?

The full speech can be obtained here.