#GPSchoolsAbuse: Protecting victims of sexual abuse goes beyond the classroom

This press statement follows the oral question session to the Gauteng Premier in the Provincial Legislature today.

There is no simple and seemingly magical solution for dealing with rampant sexual abuse in Gauteng’s schools. Gauteng Premier David Makhura’s narrow solution to the problem, namely better vetting of patrollers, is a shame.

Protecting our learners go beyond the hours of the classroom. School learners, such as the 14-year-old girl who opened a case against Emfuleni Mayor, Simon Mofokeng, for sexual grooming and taking out a protection order against him, must also receive assistance from the government.

The Premier firmly believes in repackaging an archaic concept in dealing with sexual abuse, molestation and gender-based violence in the province and that this approach will miraculously see justice for victims and put perpetrators behind bars.

The DA’s call for the Premier to appoint a commission of inquiry is to strengthen government action and is but one part of a multi-pronged approach. The Premier must be reminded that it took a commission of inquiry to fully uncover the horrors of Life Esidimeni.

By quoting outdated statistics to show how his administration was tackling gender-based violence, yet refusing to remove Mayor Simon Mofokeng on the basis of damning allegations of sexual grooming, is telling.

The DA’s protest outside the Premier’s office to deliver a memorandum last week, must’ve struck the right chord, as the DA’s requests were adopted by the Premier.

In addition to our call for the appointment of a commission of inquiry, we suggested to the Premier that he implement the following:

  • Create a free, confidential web-based or toll free platform in which learners can report sexual abuse cases and any other forms of abuse at schools in the province;
    • Ensure that learners are made aware of their rights and the processes to follow should they fall victim to sexual abuse;
    • Link each school in the province to a South African Police Service (SAPS) officer with specialized family violence, child protection and sexual offences investigative skills; and
    • Ensure government increases the number of Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FSC) units currently available within the SAP as this will ensure that the areas of operation for these units are reduced in size, with a more local focus when solving cases related to sexual assaults. Government must start now with capacitating these units in the SAPS.

The provincial government has the responsibility to ensure that schools are a safe learning environment for our children. Gauteng’s children deserve a new beginning.

Emfuleni Mayor: ANC in Gauteng cannot be trusted to lead

The Gauteng ANC’s brazen shamelessness in placing Emfuleni Mayor Simon Mofokeng on “special leave” is a slap in the face of all victims of sexual abuse who are left with the huge burden of coming to terms with what was done to them.

The ANC’s continuous rhetoric on “condemning” sexual violence against woman and children means absolutely nothing, when no strong action is taken.

Why not fire Simon Mofokeng from his post as ANC Sedibeng Regional Chairperson and remove him as Mayor?

The ANC has through this decision to place him on “special leave”, sent a clear message that they simply do not care about the victim, a 14-year-old girl who has experienced immense trauma. Instead, the ANC have chosen to shield the Mayor and protect someone who has done the most despicable of acts.

Despite the ongoing investigation by the South African Police Service and the fact that the matter will be heard before the Vanderbijlpark Magistrates Court on Friday 3 November 2017, Mofokeng could have been removed due to his many other governance failures in running the Emfuleni municipality.

Over the past few months and most recently as last week, various sex pest cases have come to light with courts across the province hearing cases; not even our classrooms are safe anymore.

The ANC’s dithering on this matter in which they had an opportunity to make an example of Simon Mofokeng shows that serious allegations of a sexual nature are swept under the carpet.

Time and time again, the ANC shows that it is without credible leaders who put the people first. The people of Emfuleni deserve better; they deserve a new beginning.

The DA firmly believes that Mayor Simon Mofokeng is unfit to hold public office. We will continue to robustly pursue all avenues available to ensure that justice prevails.

MEC Mazibuko has failed to equip Gauteng libraries with Open Source Software

The Gauteng Department of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation (SACR) is lagging behind in terms of complying with the requirements of the national government policy which compels all South African government departments to implement an Open Source Software across all aspects of their operations.

According to a written reply to the DA’s questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature, the SACR MEC Faith Mazibuko indicated that the Gauteng City Region, together with e-Government has only developed a draft Open Source Roadmap.
There are no timelines on when this draft will be presented and no investigations have as yet been conducted on how they tend to implement the Open Source Software.

It seems like the MEC is undermining the importance of the Open Source Software in benefitting our people.
The Open Source Software is flexible in its use and cost effective.

Through the use of Open Source Software the Gauteng Government will save money on licensing, software procurement, support and upgrades, and that money could be used to improve service delivery.
The Open Source Software also promotes technological development and the support of local developers who can offer ICT solutions for use in the public sector.

Furthermore, the MEC has admitted that Gauteng libraries do not have local language software packs.
The department has not conducted any investigations with regards to the implementation of local language software in Gauteng libraries.

This indicates that the ANC-led Gauteng administration cares little about the need for the promotion of local languages.
We will continue to pressure MEC Mazibuko to ensure that the Open Source Software and local language software is implemented in all Gauteng libraries.

The DA believes that the Open Source Software will help to bridge the economic and social inequality gaps with regards to the access and use of information and communication technologies.

Gauteng Liquor Board loses half its legal cases

The beleaguered Gauteng Liquor Board has lost nearly 50% of the legal cases brought against it in the past five years – most of which have to do with the entity not complying with its own mandate.

According to Gauteng Economic Development MEC, Lebogang Maile, in the past five years the Liquor Board has been involved in 49 legal cases of which it has lost 24.

The majority of the cases that the entity has lost involve regulatory and compliance issues in the granting of special licenses, delays in applications as well as review decisions of the board.

These failed cases have resulted in the granting of 29 liquor licenses to parties who had initially been turned down by the board.

It startlingly clear that the board’s lawyers do not understand the mandate of the entity and have frivolously wasted Gauteng residents’ money on non-issues. From the numerous complaints that the DA has received about the Liquor Board, it appears that most of the time their lawyers fail to appear in court to defend cases.

The DA has come to reliably learn that the board has been riding roughshod over legislation and has acted with impunity when granting licenses.

The current CEO of the board is facing a charge of contempt of court, while hundreds of applications have simply been put on the back-burner.

There are also entities trading liquor despite clearly not adhering to the prescriptions of the Gauteng Liquor Act.

The DA is currently looking into the issues of non-compliance as well as the haphazard approach the board has taken in granting some licenses while holding others back.

MEC Maile must probe the Liquor Board for its blatant abuse of power, as its current actions are not only prohibiting honest business from setting up shop, it also allows potential illegal traders a “get-out-of-jail-free” card.

DA to table Motion of No Confidence against Emfuleni Mayor

The DA has this morning notified the Emfuleni Local Municipality Speaker, Cllr Maipato Tsokolibane, on our intention to table a motion of no confidence against Mayor Simon Mofokeng as he faces charges of sexually grooming a 14-year-old girl.

The DA has requested the tabling of this motion for debate for the next council sitting in terms of rule 11.2.1 of the standing rules of the Emfuleni council.

Emfuleni DA Local Ward Councillor Edward Von Bodenstein will submit the motion.

This comes as the DA exposed Mayor Mofokeng’s sexual grooming allegations to the media over the weekend.

The lacklustre response from the ANC in Sedibeng shows that such serious allegations of this nature have not been treated with the seriousness which they deserve.

This is the very same Mayor who had scant regard for taxpayer’s money when he spent millions of rands on Nandos, KFC and hotels.

This time around, the Mayor faces allegations of a more serious nature and the ANC’s attempts to “deal with it” as was stated in their response to the media and by using charm-offensive tactics to shelve this story won’t work.

The Gauteng ANC under the leadership of Paul Mashatile must rid the Sedibeng region and Emfuleni community once and for all of this disgraceful Mayor.

The DA has repeatedly called for the removal of Mayor Mofokeng, yet the ANC chose to turn a blind eye. We once again call on the ANC to take action. The residents of Emfuleni deserve a new beginning.

The DA will continue to robustly pursue all avenues available to ensure that justice prevails and that Mayor Mofokeng’s indiscretions are not simply swept under the carpet.

It is our hope that young girls and women, who have or are being abused will summon the courage to speak out about these atrocities and lay charges against their aggressors. These sex pests have no place in our society as they are destroying the lives of vulnerable women and children.

Gauteng Health in financial meltdown

I am greatly concerned that the Gauteng Health Department is in a financial meltdown that is severely affecting patient care because unpaid companies are ceasing goods and services.

Two hospitals are currently in crisis because of unpaid bills:

  • Rahima Moosa Hospital is struggling without agency nurses because the company has not been paid;
  • Services at the Thelle Mogoerane Hospital have been disrupted because the security company was not paid.

Some patients have been told that surgery is delayed because an unpaid supplier is not supplying an essential item.

The Department is currently owing more than R1.3 billion to companies, some of them for more than a year.

I also know of small companies going out of business because of late payments.

Patients lives will be put at risk if the Department’s budget crisis is not solved soon, otherwise we will have another Esidimeni.

The provincial government will somehow have to find the extra money and insist that the Department’s deep-rooted management problems are fixed, otherwise its financial crises will continue to recur.

Emfuleni Mayor in alleged sexual abuse scandal

The DA has been reliably informed that Emfuleni Mayor, Simon Mofokeng faces charges of sexual grooming of a 14-year-old girl.

We are in possession of a screengrab of a Whatsapp post wherein Mayor Mofokeng posted a photo of a half-nude young girl on one of the ANC’s political groups in the Sedibeng Region. His number and name are visible on the post.

This is the very same Mayor who had no regard for taxpayer’s money when he spent millions of rands on Nandos, KFC and hotels. This time around, it seems that the Mayor faces more serious allegations.

On Thursday, disgruntled ANC branches intended to march to Mayor Mofokeng’s office calling for his removal, however the Mayor swiftly thwarted the march by taking out a court interdict. The court interdict can be obtained on request.

We have contacted the Vanderbijlpark SAPS to confirm that two cases have been opened against Mofokeng and we are in a position to provide inquiry case numbers. He is apparently appearing before the Vanderbijlpark Magistrate Court in early November.

The DA is also in possession of the social worker report which will be used for further evidence should charges proceed against Mofokeng.

Many young girls fear victimisation should they speak out against the Mayor.

The ANC is trying to shove this matter under the carpet and aims to further silence the already voiceless and downtrodden young victim in order to protect Mayor Mofokeng.

The DA hopes that through exposing Mayor Mofokeng’s sexual indiscretions, many more young girls and women will summon up the courage to speak out and lay charges.

This expose of Mayor Mofokeng comes at a time when sexual abuse in Gauteng’s schools is at crisis level. Far too many live in fear and silence. Even though sexual abuse transcends party politics, the ANC has some serious introspection to do.

Gauteng must be rid once and for all of the scourge of sexual abuse which is destroying thousands of lives.

Mayor Mofokeng is a disgrace as a representative of the people of Emfuleni. The DA will robustly pursue all avenues available to ensure that justice prevails and that his removal from office through the Emfuleni Local Council will follow these allegations.

Merafong fleecing motorists to fill its empty coffers

The Merafong Municipality has embarked on a campaign of fleecing motorists through the use of mobile camera speed traps to fill up its empty coffers.

The following table shows a sharp spike in revenue collected since the start of this financial year:

Month Target Collected
May 17 274 619 R 367 421
June 17 274 619 R 703 130
July 17 274 619 R 803 725
Aug 17 274 619 R 1 067 801
Sept 17 274 619 R 1 029 183

Merafong is experiencing the worst financial crisis in its history under the hapless and arrogant leadership of the ANC-led Council. The council has had to receive a bail-out by the provincial government to ensure that Eskom does not plunge residents into darkness.

The sharp increase in the collection traffic fines begs the question- is Merafong engaging in blatantly predatory practices to wring cash out of its motorists through dodgy law enforcement?

It is highly suspicious that there has suddenly been an over-collection on camera speed fines by up to 388%.

Traffic law enforcement is meant to make roads safer and encourage motorists to be compliant in the interests of road safety and the preservation of human life.

Visible policing is far more effective than camera-based enforcement which is often contentious as the equipment used is subject to routine calibration, which is often not done.

It appears as if Merafong is engaging in “cash cowing” to augment its appallingly low revenue collection levels.

The DA will be following up with the MMC for Community Safety in Merafong to get to the bottom of this suspicious practice to ensure that residents are not becoming scapegoats for the ANC’s poor financial management.

Please find attached sound bites by Ina Cilliers in English and Afrikaans.

Premier’s role in Esidimeni deaths must be probed

Gauteng Premier David Makhura’s role in the transfer of Esidimeni mental health patients that led to 141 deaths must be probed following new evidence that he did know about the moving of the patients to NGOs.

Former mental health review board director Dumi Masondo said on Friday last week at the Esidimeni arbitration hearings that Makhura had attended meetings on the move of the patients.

This flatly contradicts Makhura’s claim that he did not know that the patients were sent to NGOs but were going to other state health facilities.

Masondo also said that former Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu was instructed to end the Life Esidimeni contract by people above her. She was testifying under oath so her accusations must be taken seriously.

Other evidence that implicates Makhura includes the claim by Dr Barney Selebano, the Head of the Gauteng Health Department, that the “decision to start deinstitutionalization of mental health care users from LE was undertaken in the Office of the Premier of Gauteng, the Honourable David Makhura, together with the HOD” (page 30 of the Ombudsman’s report).

Makhura is due to testify at the hearings along with Selebano and former Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu whose whereabouts is still in doubt according to a report today that she is not a student at the London School of Economics as previously reported.

The ANC Gauteng Provincial Executive Committee has admitted that they gave her leave of absence to study in the UK, so they can be contacted to get her address.

I am encouraged by Judge Dikgang Moseneke’s assurance that the hearings will not conclude without the appearance of all key players.

They should face tough questioning so that we finally get the truth about the Esidimeni tragedy.

Premier Makhura: a leader who lacks substance

The following speech was delivered today at the DA’s silent protest at the Office of the Premier, calling on him to appoint a commission of inquiry into sexual abuse and related matters at Gauteng’s schools.


Thank you for coming out here today in support of the many victims of sexual abuse in our schools, in work places, at home and in our communities and even within some of the ANC governments.

Our efforts here won’t take away their pain, suffering and agony nor their horrific and traumatizing memory of abuse, but I am certain this protest today, provides them with some comfort and hope that tomorrow might be better than today.

My message today, is not only toward the abused, the downtrodden and the vulnerable residents of our great province, it is to every single one of you, from all corners of Gauteng, for all peoples who have come here, searching greener pastures as this province still stands as a beacon of hope and opportunity for all.

My message to all of you, fellow democrats, is that the only political party that will restore hope and see a new beginning for our country and our province is the Democratic Alliance.

The road to 2019 has already begun, and what the DA has to offer in provincial government will usher in an era of total change that will see Gauteng flourish and regain its spot as the number one economic hub in Africa.

This change in provincial government will see millions if not billions of rands in corruption uncovered and many more crooks behind bars, it will see more skilled young people in jobs that will enable them to secure a future for their children and pay it forward for generations to come.

A provincial government that is able to provide a better quality affordable housing opportunity to all who have been waiting for far too long, because the lists were corrupt.

A provincial government that will not simply waste money on talk-shops and multiple conferences simply talking and printing booklets of plans yet to materialise, one example is Premier Makhura’s Ntirhisano service delivery projects.

Democrats, be careful of these Ntirhisano-evangelical politicians, they are only out to visit and care about you when they need to use you every five years, to use you as voting fodder. Thereafter they simply just to go back to their lavish lives while we as ordinary residents face the reality in Gauteng daily.

The Premier’s Ntirhisano project launched in 2014 was aimed at accelerating service delivery, but it has only wasted another three more valuable years of your time in waiting for roads to be fixed, tolls to be scrapped, housing projects to be completed, libraries to open, honest open tenders to be awarded and more importantly to ensure that our residents feel safe, protected and trust the provincial government to do so.

What has the Premier’s done for you? Where was the Premier’s Ntirhisano squad when over 118+ mentally ill patients were illegally transferred to unlicensed facilities and had subsequently died?

Where is the Premier, when hundreds of zama-zama’s die as battles rage on closed gold mines, see the desperation of the men and women who need to ensure their loved ones get at least a plate of food before they go to bed.

What about the thousands who are found at our cemeteries, who had died tragic deaths on our roads, thousands of residents private and most intimates spaces are invaded as homes are burgled and cars are hijacked on our roads.

Farmers and farming communities, who ensure our food security, are brutally and inhumanely attacked and killed on their property. Women and child abuse is the order of the day. Our communities remain ravaged by drug abuse. This week alone, Gauteng was revealed as being the country’s most dangerous province.

Democrats this is a legacy the ANC and Premier Makhura is leaving for our children. A legacy the DA can and will undo.

Premier Makhura, remains unseen and uncaring, while our people continue to suffer.

He seems to believe that sponsoring a couple of cars to SAPS will heal the agony and misery of young primary school sexually abused victims.

He does not take action against his MECs, involved in any scandal, just like Qedani Mahlangu, who lied and said she’s busy with exams and couldn’t testify before the Esidimeni commission of inquiry.

Yet, the Premier believes that his appointment of the “task team of three” are capable of managing the scourge of sexual abuse in our schools. These are the future leaders of our country, it cannot be that hundreds become thousands before Premier Makhura decides to act and show leadership.

Our children deserve to be kept safe. Our children deserve more from this government.

Why is the Premier not using his constitutional mandate to appoint this commission of inquiry which will be able to address sexual abuse that has become rampant in our schools?

The 87 brave young learners from AB Xuma Primary School in Soweto spoke out against one abominable patroller, yet ANC Premier, David Makhura cannot speak up for any one of them and many others who are too afraid to break their silence.

This was an opportunity the Premier could have taken to at least show our young children that “heroes” still exist. That government is not a scary grey-dull and old looking building, but that it is a place whereby hard-fought and hard-won values of freedom are championed.

It is your choice, Premier Makhura, will you show the young and vulnerable children and youth that may lead this country one day, that you are able to care and that you can be “hero” or will you choose to hide and make this a political matter?

Premier Makhura be a hero and appoint a commission of inquiry now, lives depend on it!