The IFP has described the Office of KZN Premier, Sihle Zikalala, as a breeding ground for corruption.
This comes after yet another four people, including officials from the KwaZulu-Natal Premier’s Office, have been arrested for alleged fraud. They were arrested by the Hawks on Friday morning. The four are allegedly involved in irregular catering tenders, involving more than R20 million, between 2016 and 2017.
This is an indication that the Office of the Premier is a fertile breeding ground for corruption. This is an indictment against the Premier that he is surrounded by thieves who have an insatiable appetite for public funds.
The IFP challenges the Premier to start the ‘clean-up’ operation himself, by speeding up the process of conducting lifestyle audits. It is high time that this process is implemented, without any further delay, because it has become clear that there is rot in the Premier’s Office. The Premier must be encouraged by the latest arrest of the officials in his Office and see the importance of conducting lifestyle audits. He must flush out all the thieves surrounding him, as failure to do so will mean that he will be seen as a person who condones corruption and protects corrupt people. This will also create an impression that the Premier himself is benefiting from all forms of corruption taking place in his Office.
While we welcome the arrest of the officials from the Office of the Premier, there is nothing to celebrate as yet, because no convictions have taken place. The IFP will only rejoice once the corrupt officials are behind bars.
The IFP wants to be clear: corruption must not be tolerated. Corrupt people who plunder public funds must be arrested and sent to jail.
The IFP is concerned about the ongoing culture of significant internal control deficiencies; lack of adherence with supply-chain management regulations; procuring goods and services without inviting competitive bids; as well as the approval of deviations when it was practical to invite competitive bids in the awarding of tenders.
Therefore, the IFP calls for the enforcement of laws governing the procurement processes, as some officials intentionally flout these laws.
The IFP calls on the Hawks to ensure that corrupt service-providers that are found to be complicit with corrupt officials from the KZN Premier’s Office in the embezzlement of public funds are arrested and blacklisted. Company owners must pay back the money that they irregularly benefited from, without delay.
Hon V.F Hlabisa, MPL
Leader of the Official Opposition in the KZN Legislature
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