The DA is concerned that there has been no sense of urgency from the Gauteng Premier, David Makhura, in tracing the missing Ms Nomawethu Kunene.
Kunene, who is the Deputy Director of A re Ageng a Non-Profit Organisation (NPO), went missing on 26 February this year and no one knows what has happened to her.
A re Ageng was being used by the Gauteng Social Development last year as a “conduit” for payments to other organisations funded by the Department.
Her disappearance is deeply concerning, as she appeared to have become the target of harassment, including a bogus arrest by police in December last year. Presumably these actions were instituted to put pressure on Kunene and her colleagues to keep quiet about events around the funnelling of money from the Gauteng Social Development Department to other destinations.
According to replies to my questions in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature today, Premier Makhura, who has been silent since Kunene’s disappearance, revealed that he will be meeting A re Ageng in April.
The fact that it took over a month for the Premier to act indicates that this case is not being given the serious attention it deserves.
MEC Barbara Creecy, on behalf of the Premier, told the house that the Premier is being briefed on a regular basis by the SAPS, MEC for Community Safety, Sizakele Nkosi- Malobane and Social Development MEC, Nandi Mayathula-Khoza regarding the progress of investigations in this case.
If this is indeed true, the Premier is keeping the information to himself and providing very little feedback regarding this investigation.
In answer to a further question, MEC Creecy misled the house by denying that the same investigating officer tasked with investigating a R5 million hacking of the A re Ageng bank account is the same officer investigating Kunene’s disappearance. Reliable information is that it is the same officer.
This will without doubt result in a conflict of interest; in both cases there is absolutely nothing to show in the investigations.
The DA welcomes the indication by MEC Creecy that the MEC for Social Development will give insight into the internal disciplinary hearings which have reportedly been instituted against those officials implicated in the ‘conduit’ payments and that the matter is at an advanced stage.
It is disgraceful that a matter as serious as the disappearance of Kunene is apparently receiving minimal attention from authorities and politicians alike in Gauteng. The least that the Premier can do is to provide regular updates on this matter.
The DA will not relent until justice is seen to be done and all any wrongdoing has been uncovered.