Address by North West Premier, Maureen Modiselle, in reaction to the sanction against suspended Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the Department of Public Works, Roads and Transport, Kwekwu Odame-Takyi who has been found guilty of misconduct
13 Sep 2010
Thank you for the opportunity, Mr Matshube Mfoloe.
Honourable Mahlakeng Mahlakeng: I now realise the true meaning of the cliché you often use:
“We run like a herd of buffalo bulls” By the way, what is a female bull?
To come back to the issue at hand.The dust has hardly settled on the guilty verdict we announced four days, and we have the sanction already! It is incredible, but once again, congratulations are in order to the ANC-led North West Provincial Government.
Good morning ladies and gentlemen:
We are gradually closing-in on senior government officials, and some entities who may have acted in concert, to either defraud and or plunder the state resources.
Acts of misconduct, especially against high-ranking officials, is indeed worrying, and the pronouncements we as executive committee (EXCO) have made in the past few days, MEC Mahlakeng Mahlakeng , can only add fuel to speculations I made that:
“Indeed there is a flagrant disregard for procurement prescripts, protocols and Treasury Regulations by some senior managers, and subordinates which has become an extremely toxic mix for service delivery in our province.”
It is clear that habitual contraventions of government procurement protocols by senior officials, acting in concert with some entities, have prejudiced government financially in some instances. It is scandalous, strictly speaking!
Very often, acts of gross misconduct in the public sector, point to nothing else but corruption and fraud. Unfortunately, this falls outside of our competency as government departments because it becomes a criminal matter for the law enforcement agencies to pursue, investigate further, formulate criminal charges and secure a conviction in a court of law.
I am encouraged however,that the department of Public Works and Transport registered a complaint at the Mmabatho Police Station in January 2010 already, for the Commercial Crime Unit to investigate a case of corruption, and fraud against individuals fingered during the investigations. I have also noted your comments, MEC Mahlakeng, that it has been more than six-months to date, and you are yet to hear from the police, what the status of the investigation is on that case.
I will personally arrange an urgent meeting with the new Provincial Commissioner of Police, M Z Mbombo,with a view toestablish the current status of police investigations with regards to this case and other long outstanding cases in the North West, not related to corruption per se; like the murderer of Cde. Moss Phakwe.
Crime and Corruption,and acts thereof, have become a real threat to the future of our democracy. I therefore make a renewed call, and urge all those who may have evidence of such acts, to report such to the police. Talking about corruption in departments from the roof-tops, will take us no where! You must make an effort by reportingsuch acts to the police andbe seen to be assisting them in their investigation if you believe there is such.This is “corporate citizen” obligation.
We must therefore begin to make it extremely difficult, as a collective, for those civil servants found guilty of pilfering rooted out and face the full force of the law. If corruption and any other crime is made to appear not punishable in this province, we would be failing in our duties and it is for that reason, that I call on other departments to move with speed andfinalise all pending disciplinary cases against their respective truant officials. It cannot be correct to continue paying substantial amounts in the form of salaries, including benefits to people sitting at home pondering for months what is it they have to answer to.
This morning, I have placed the Chief Financial Officer in the Office of the Premier, Mr Phillip Gumede on a precautionary suspension. This is a procedural move to allow further forensic investigations into serious allegations of possible misconduct to continue unhindered. Once again, a precautionary suspension does not suggest the person is guilty of any offence. It is a matter of procedure.
I thank you.
Issued by: North West Office of the Premier
13 Sep 2010
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