PS must be sacked - Parliament report
LOBAMBA – A parliamentary report has recommended that Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture Dr Robert Thwala be relieved of his duties over a questionable tender.
The Revised Report on the Award of Tenders Select Committee was tabled by Mafutseni MP Joseph Madonsela who was seconded by Motshane MP Robert Magongo.
Worth noting though is that this report is yet to be debated or adopted therefore the recommendations and findings are for now not final.
Madonsela, when motivating for the adoption of the report said during investigation it was found that Dr Thwala influenced the purchase of dipping chemicals worth E18 million from South African suppliers despite that the same chemicals were provided in abundance by local suppliers at just E8 million.
"Madam Deputy Speaker, we also found that the vocabulary when issuing the tender was intentionally changed and crafted in such a way that it would be difficult to understand what was being sought.
"The purchase of dipping chemicals worth E18 million involved elements of corruption in that we had suppliers locally who were willing to provide same for E8 million. "The intention of the officers involved was motivated by corruption because initially, the tender was withdrawn as it was said that the country had enough dipping chemicals at the time.
"The Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture said the chemicals should be bought despite that we had them in abundance. He went to speak with the suppliers and influenced the eventual purchase of the chemicals for E18 million. During our investigation, we spoke to the PS but he spoke in technical terms. Even the Minister of Agriculture asked us to tighten the grip during investigation as he had also seen how corruption thrived in his ministry," he said.
MP Madonsela said the probe team also had pictures of the dipping chemicals being delivered at the government stores. He said the pictures were taken by some aggrieved local suppliers.
"We recommended in this report that the PS is not fit to hold public office because he has failed to be a custodian of public funds. Many people have, in the past, complained that some dipping chemicals were weak, yet millions of Emalangeni went towards purchasing these chemicals," he alleged. MP Madonsela was supported by MP Magongo. The MPs could not adopt the report yesterday as it was discovered that the copies they were served with were not of the revised report.
‘Officer bought pyjamas with state funds’
LOBAMBA – A Parliament Financial Controller is alleged to have used public funds to buy pyjamas.
The Select Committee investigating issuance of tenders for government recommended that the officer identified as Nonhlanhla Mngomezulu be surcharged for the act. MP Joseph Madonsela who chaired the probe team had difficulty saying what exactly the officer had bought with state funds within an order for the preparation of the official opening of Parliament.
"The money needed for the official work was E10 000 but the officer eventually submitted a request for E50 000. When we looked at some of the things bought with the money we found that there was certain clothing which If I can state I would be misinterpreted to be gender insensitive," he said.
However, MPs forced MP Madonsela to name the clothing. He then said: "It was clothing that one wears when going to sleep." The MPs did not adopt the report yesterday as it was discovered that the copies they were served with were not of the revised report.
While I appreciate the way the issue of suggesting that the Minister of Agriculture be relieved of his duties, I am not, however, content with certain things. Squandering government funds is something we need to condemn in the highest order it deserves but the big question is "WHO" utters the final word, the sentence so to speak. We have heard of cases where others have embezzled such funds at their constituencies and nothing is being said about it. Is it the issue of "some animals are more equal than others". With this attitude we are not going to improve the already dwindling economy. Everyone who messes up the tax payer's money should face the consequencies inspite of who the person is. If we let these things go on without any serious and legitmate action taken, we will find our beautiful country having to have its currency devalued, then the rest will be history.
May 24, 2012, 4:53 PM, Strydom Mpanza (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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