NEWS & ANALYSIS

Gigaba must clean up Treasury - MKMVA

Kebby Maphatsoe says DG's action against Schalk Human was long overdue

THE UMKHONTO WE SIZWE MILITARY VETERANS ASSOCIATION (MKMVA) CALLS FOR DECISIVE ACTION TO CLEAN UP TREASURY

Date: Saturday, 2 September 2017

The Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) has noted with concern that following the debacle about the exposure of the R 4.3 billion (Internal Financial Management Systems IFMS) project, a draft internal audit has once again exposed more financial mismanagement in the National Treasury.

A draft internal audit concerning Treasury’s 100 Suppliers project that the former Minister of Finance, Mr. Pravin Gordahn, announced with great fanfare as a cost saving measure, shows how a project that what was meant to save government funds ended up wasting huge amounts of government money.

The report shows that the mismanagement of the project was shocking and reveals how CIPS Africa, that was contracted to save on procurement expenditure, ended up being paid the full amount R25 million that the company was contracted for, for “incomplete work”. It also reveals that in 2015 under the watch of Gordahn, who was Minister of Finance at the time, CIPS Africa was handpicked by top officials in the Office of the Chief Procurement Officer (OPCO).

The intention was apparently to save money by cutting contract discrepancies and pricing inconsistencies for the same commodities between national and provincial government departments. However, instead of doing work on the 100 companies that it was contracted for, CIPS Africa only reviewed 22 companies while the contracts of 78 companies were actually never reviewed or re-negotiated.

Nor were the payments that took place for the half-baked, incomplete, work ever aligned to the deliverables that were set for the project.

All of this happened under the watch of the Chief Procurement Officer Kenneth Brown, who resigned under a cloud of allegations of impropriety, and was replaced by Mr. Schalk Human as acting Chief Procurement Officer. Mr Human was working as a Chief Director under Mr. Brown, and was his protégé.

Although the Report recommended that Treasury should recover R19, 5 million from CIPS Africa for work that they were paid for - but had actually not done - Mr. Human ignored the findings of the Report. At the very least this was dereliction of duty. The question arises about who, in addition to Mr. Brown, he was protecting by what could only be deliberate inaction in the face of damning findings?

We commend the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) for carrying out their oversight role, and having called on Treasury to account. We also commend the statement by one of the ANC MP’s on SCOPA, Mr. Myamezeli Booi, that there would be consequences for Treasury, because for far too long Treasury had been treated as if it is untouchable and above the law.

The long overdue action taken by the Treasury Director General, Mr. Dondo Mogajane, to relieve Mr. Human of his duties, should have been taken much earlier but at least it was finally done.

We note that the moment when Mr. Human was relieved of his duties the propaganda machine of the DA, together with the mainstream White Monopoly Capital owned media, started spinning claiming that Mr. Human’s removal was ‘shocking’, and that he was one of the ‘key soldiers’ against state capture.

Nothing, whatsoever, is mentioned about his shameful inaction with regards to the damning findings of the draft audit report on CIPS Africa.

MKMVA believes that the matters of both the IFMS project as well as CIPS Africa, should be the subject of a commission of enquiry. Such a commission of enquiry should not leave anyone off the hook, and should specifically also investigate the role of former Minister Pravin Gordahn who as the responsible Minister of Finance at the time should take the ultimate responsibility. There can be no doubt that as the political head, who announced the 100 Suppliers project with great fanfare, the buck ultimately stops with him.

We call on the Minister of Finance, Minister Malusi Gagaba, not to hesitate to proceed with all the required legal steps, and to act without fear or favour. Anyone who is found to have been negligent and or criminally liable should be acted against regardless of rank or political clout. Evidently this cannot, and should not, exclude Mr. Gordahn, nor his former Deputy Minister, Mr. Mcebisi Jonas.

Statement issued by Carl Niehaus on behalf of the President of MKMVA, Comrade Kebby Maphatsoe, 2 September 2017