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Public Works officials may not get away with Beitbridge corruption: De Lille must clean up the “mess”

The Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, Patricia de Lille, must roll up her sleeves and clean up the "mess" in her Department.

She may not allow officials who were involved in the Beitbridge corruption scandal to get off with just a final warning and so-called training as the acting Director-general of the Department, Imtiaz Fazel, recommended.

At the time, it was recommended that disciplinary charges must be filed against thirteen senior officials in the Department for alleged misconduct, which occurred mainly during the procurement process. A staggering amount of approximately R40 million of taxpayers' money was lost during this process.

Initially, the project was supposed to cost R26 million but in the end, it cost R14 million more.

The FF Plus is convinced that De Lille must be held accountable for this seeing as she allowed the project to continue even though the required procurement procedures were not followed. She also sanctioned the project before the Disaster Management Act came into effect and Section 27(2)(L) of the Act was severely exploited.

If these officials get off with just a rap on the knuckles, the government is sending a dangerous message that corruption and maladministration are acceptable and that such conduct is the norm in our society.

It would mean that anyone can steal, rob and loot as they like and there will be no consequences to bear seeing as the government itself is setting an example that makes it seem like such behaviour is acceptable.

De Lille must be charged along with the officials and justice must be allowed to take its course to ensure that corruption is eradicated from the Department once and for all.

De Lille should not only say that her Department finds itself in a mess, she must clean it up too.

The FF Plus is concerned about allegations of even more corruption in the Department as a wall just 200m long was reportedly built for R48 million as part of the Kosi Bay border project.

An investigation into this project must be launched as soon as possible so that those offenders can be brought to book as well.

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