Address by MEC Mahlakeng Mahlakeng and Spokesman, Matshube Mfoloe, during a media conference in Mafikeng to announce the guilty verdict of suspended North West Roads’ boss, Mr Eddie Thebe
10 May 2010
Mr Eddie Thebe, the suspended North West Chief Director for roads, has been found guilty on eight of the 10 charges of gross misconduct. He had pleaded NOT guilty in respect of all charges preferred against him. We suspended Mr Thebe in September 2009 and he appeared before the Disciplinary Committee (DC) on 16 November.
During the same period, a forensic investigation by PriceWaterhouseCoopers was instituted to probe the Directorate for Roads. The DC hearing for Mr Thebe enjoyed a number of postponements in between, due to certain legal technicalities. However the matter was finally concluded on 13 April 2010.
Included in your media packages, is a complete list of charges Mr Thebe was called upon to answer in a disciplinary enquiry. This list is self explanatory and we will not take time talking you through each of the charges. The 139 page report on Mr Thebe’s enquiry is also online at: http://www.nwpg.gov.za/public works or Google Search: Public Works North West.
But in summary, charges relate to irregular appointment of road construction companies which are also mentioned by name. Providing false information to the department with regard to the cost per unit of Jet-Patcher machines used to close potholes. You will also find all other the finer details explaining each of the charges in the same document.
Ladies and gentlemen, I now hand you over, to the MEC for Public Works, Roads and Transport Mahlakeng Mahlakeng and immediately thereafter, we will take questions.
Comments by MEC for Public Works, Roads and Transport, Mahlakeng Mahlakeng on the guilty verdict of Mr Eddie Thebe, the suspended Chief Director for Roads
Thank you for the opportunity, Matshube Mfoloe. Greetings ladies and gentlemen
The guilty verdict, of Mr Eddie Thebe, which has been announced, is indeed welcomed. It is a victory against a growing cancer of dishonesty within the public service, and should serve as a stern warning to self serving elements within our public service.
At a personal level, this verdict has once again, demonstrated to whoever may still have doubts in what I initiated back in August 2009, that I was neither yawning nor dreaming or hallucinating to get attention. I have now been vindicated, the truth has conquered all. While I cannot pre-empt what sanction or sentence the chairperson of the DC will hand-down at the appropriate time. I must emphasise that, to be found guilty on eight of the 10 charges as a Chief Director, is indeed very serious and extremely worrying.
While I’m eagerly waiting and itching to receive Mr Thebe’s sanction:
- We are gradually closing-in on a number of people and entities, whom we suspect may have acted in concert with the culprit to loot, defraud and plunder the resources of this department. Once again, I want to thank owners of those road construction companies out there who never took us to court but cooperated and continue to volunteer valuable information, which is indeed very useful.
For as long as I am here, as a servant of the people and with a full mandate:
- I will leave no stone unturned to recover if possible to the last cent whatever amount was fraudulently or falsely paid any contractors whether big or small
- Corruption and acts thereof have become real threats to our future and of our democracy
- We must therefore begin to make it extremely difficult, for those civil servants still basking in the belief that they will not be found not to loot any longer
- We have to turn the tide on senior government officials and their cronies, found guilty of pilfering, rooted out to face the full might of the law
- We are called to act decisively against corruption at all levels of government. We must be seen to be doing just that
- To deal ruthlessly with the rampant scourge of corruption and the pilfering of state coffers. We will be failing in our duty, if corruption is made to appear not punishable in this province.
May I take this opportunity to remind all of you that the suspended head of the department, Mr Nic Van Staden and Chief Financial Officer, Kwekwu-Odame Takyi are also scheduled to answer to charges of gross misconduct from 7 June to 11 June 2010.
Cell: 082 305 4594
Issued by: North West Public Works, Roads and Transport
10 May 2010
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