Address to the media today (Monday, 16 August 2010) to announce the axing of Honourable Grace Bothman, as MEC for Sports, Arts and Culture
16 Aug 2010
Good morning ladies and gentlemen
Yes indeed it is true, I have relieved- with immediate effect- one of my Executive Council Members, Honourable Grace Bothman, of her responsibilities as MEC for Sports, Arts and Culture.
I took that decision because I am convinced that her conduct towards my office, as an appointed leader of government in this province, has displayed hallmarks of utter defiance, disrespect and disdain, especially in the past week.
Let me say upfront that:
Action against former MEC Bothman, has little to do with media reports of alleged financial mismanagement, or tender irregularities in the department she was responsible for.
I have however, noted the allegations, which on the face of it, sound and appear to be very serious indeed.
Also, the apparent breakdown of the working relationship between her, and the acting Head of Department Mr Sam Mokaila, was for me, just another side show.
I can’t over emphasise the point that:
The decision to relieve Ms Bothman of her duties as MEC was largely informed by her unbecoming behavior the attitude she demonstrated towards the highest office in the province, which I find totally unacceptable.
A breakdown in working relations can be very detrimental and catastrophic, if it nestles in the highest echelons of government.
After reading newspaper articles and listening to news reports, I found it astonishing, for example,to read and hear about such serious allegations and counter allegation , when my office is just a walking distance from that of former MEC Bothman and of course her acting HoD.
The work of government is more important than that of an individual and it cannot therefore be allowed to suffer, because of a breakdown of working relations. It does not matter at what level.
For the reasons outlines above and after proper consultations with all appropriate structures and protocols this past weekend: I am convinced, this situation requires a bold decision and this is just but one of them, taken in the interest of service delivery, and good governance in the Department of Sports and Culture.
And not for self serving purposes, but to serving all communities of the North West Province who voted us into power.
I have now appointed as acting MEC for Sports and Culture, the current MEC for Finance, Honourable Louisa Mabe, until a suitable replacement is finalised.
I have also briefed my colleagues in the Executive Council an hour ago, about these developments.
Because of the severity of the allegations of financial mismanagement and the reported irregular awarding of tenders to certain people and groupings allegedly by certain individuals in the Department of Sports Arts and Culture:
I have ordered an external audit, to investigate the above and report to me directly soonest – preliminary report within two weeks.
Once done, the audit findings and recommendations will be made public because this matter has generated a lot of public interest.
I thank you for your time
Issued by: North West Office of the Premier
16 Aug 2010
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