The IFP in the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature believes that the politicians who employed and supported the compromised Director-General (DG) in KZN Premier’s Office, Dr Nonhlanhla Mkhize, should share the blame for bringing the provincial government into disrepute. Further, they have contributed towards – and promoted – corruption by employing people tainted with corruption.
As the IFP, we raised concerns about Dr Mkhize’s track record in the past and we are therefore not shocked by her recent arrest. Dr Mkhize allegedly threatened the Mhlathuze Water Board in order to stop an investigation into financial irregularities and was arrested on allegations of defeating the ends of justice and intimidation.
This is not the first time that she has been associated with corruption. Findings of a May 2019 Public Protector report into the Nelson Mandela memorial events organised by the Mpumalanga Province, which cost the province R70 million, implicated Dr Mkhize. However, the Gauteng High Court set these findings aside.
Questions must be asked: why is Dr Mkhize frequently associated with corruption, yet continues to be protected by the ruling party? The deafening silence by the ANC Provincial leadership and the Premier on this matter seems to indicate that they have been caught with their pants down.
During the recent Ukungena Esibayeni Ceremony by His Majesty King Misuzulu kaZwelithini in KwaKhangelamankengane, the ANC Provincial Chairperson, Siboniso Duma, announced that they had extended Dr Mkhize’s contract as DG in the KZN Premier’s Office for another five years. On what grounds? Where was the post advertised? How many people were invited for interviews?
This is clearly an abuse of power, as well as blatant protection of ANC comrades facing serious allegations of corruption.
On numerous occasions the IFP has shared its concerns over the Office of the Premier, which has become a fertile ground for corruption. We have seen the seizure of immovable properties and several vehicles belonging to the Premier’s CFO, Ziphathe Cibane, and his co-accused. This, after they were alleged to be involved in corruption related to a catering tender amounting to over R20 million.
In addition, the KZN Office of the Premier has failed to implement lifestyle audits. The former KZN Premier, Sihle Zikalala, announced that lifestyle audits for the Premier, MECs, senior managers and supply chain officials would be conducted by the State Security Agency and SARS. To date, this has not happened.
When the IFP then raises concerns about corruption in KZN, it is accused of trying to gain cheap political mileage, of point-scoring and of using the opportunity to portray itself as a saint. However, there are no sacred cows in the fight against corruption.
The IFP believes that there is increasingly a need for ethical leadership in government, and leaders must demonstrate such in their daily behaviour, decisions, and actions.
Also: anti-corruption bodies should be shielded from undue political interference. To this end, genuine political will to combat corruption is needed. Such political will must be embedded in a comprehensive anti-corruption strategy.
The IFP therefore calls upon the KZN Premier, Nomusa Dube-Ncube, to break her silence on the arrest of the DG. We want the DG to be suspended with immediate effect, pending a full investigation. Anyone who is accused of corruption must step aside to root out corruption, and promote good, clean governance. There can be no exceptions.
Mr Blessed Gwala, MPL
IFP Chief Whip in the KZN Legislature,
078 290 5842