The United Democratic Movement (UDM) in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) calls on the National Prosecuting Authority’s Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) to urgently apply for an order of restraint of the property of the high-ranking provincial social development officials who have been accused of contravening the Public Finance Management Act and who face charges of misconduct over the dodgy procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE) as well as blankets.
We commend the department’s move to suspend the implicated officials as announced by the KwaZulu-Natal MEC for social development Nonhlanhla Khoza. However, suspending them and opening criminal cases are not enough, the AFU should obtain a restraint order to seize property before their potential conviction to ensure that the property is available to be sold later if needs be to recoup the R30 million.
Furthermore, the department must take the public into confidence and indicate whether this is the only filthy transaction that these officials might have been involved in, if there are any other transactions, those too must be made known publicly.
It is however an indictment of the department that it only ordered investigation, into what appears to be blatant theft, due to public pressure. Whether public pressure is exerted or not, the government owes it to the South African taxpayer to be transparent in all its dealings, especially where corruption is concerned.
The UDM also calls upon the department to name and shame the involved service providers and to blacklist them so that they may not do any further business with the government.
Mr Boysey Gumede
UDM KZN Interim Provincial Secretary