The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) in the KZN Legislature calls upon the KZN MEC for Education, Kwazi Mshengu, to ensure that all officials implicated in PPE corruption are not allowed to resign from their positions in an attempt to avoid the consequences of disciplinary action.
In its final Report into the Department’s Covid-19 PPE procurement processes, which was handed to President Cyril Ramaphosa a few days ago, the Special Investigative Unit (SIU) recommended that disciplinary measures should be taken against a number of senior officials, including former head of Department, Enock Nzama.
The IFP is concerned about the growing number of employees who commit misconduct, are issued with a notification of disciplinary enquiry, and subsequently tender their resignation. This, in an attempt to avoid the consequences of disciplinary action, as well as the stigma attached to a dismissal if found guilty. These resignations also tend to hinder the recovery of stolen monies.
Further, by resigning, these officials gain access to their pensions.
This culture of impunity must stop.
MEC Kwazi Mshengu must ensure that all those implicated in illegal activities are held accountable for their actions. These officials must also be prevented from resurfacing in other Departments, municipalities or parastatals. The MEC must put ‘comradeship’ aside and do the right thing, even if it means taking unpopular decisions.
The IFP concurs with SIU head, Advocate Andy Mothibi, who said: “A resignation is not enough. We should be consistent when dealing with this issue of resignation. As a principle, a resignation should not absolve anyone – whether you are an official or an executive authority – it should not absolve you from a criminal process where there is evidence…it should [also] not absolve you from civil litigation where there is evidence that you participated in the losses and the damages suffered by the state.”
The IFP therefore demands that the KZN MEC for Education, Kwazi Mshengu, implement the recommendations from the SIU calling for disciplinary measures to be taken against former head of department, Enock Nzama, and other implicated senior officials.
The IFP further calls for all those implicated in PPE corruption, including officials and companies that irregularly benefited, if found guilty, to be blacklisted, jailed and to repay all stolen monies. Whoever is caught stealing public funds must not be shown any mercy, and once jailed, they should not be granted parole.
Mrs Thembeni Kamdlopha-mthethwa, MPL
IFP KZN Provincial Spokesperson
079 114 3015/ 071 884 3844