DA to intensify monitoring of GBV cases in Upington
|by Andrew Louw – DA Northern Cape Premier Candidate|
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|Date: 11 April 2019|
|Note to Editors: Find attached soundclips in English and Afrikaans from DA Northern Cape Premier Candidate, Andrew LouwDamning revelations by former Bosasa CFO, Angelo Agrizzi, regarding a relationship of corruption and bribery between departmental officials, government ministers and ANC leaders, have set off alarm bells in the Northern Cape, where Bosasa is deeply rooted.It is against this backdrop that the DA has decided to address the media in front of the Bosasa offices (see attached picture here), to show and tell of their entrenchment in the Northern Cape.The DA simply cannot ignore Agrizzi’s testimony that this controversial company paid bribes for all the contracts it was awarded. If this is indeed the case, then the dealings of at least three Northern Cape government departments must be urgently investigated:Firstly, we have the Education Department:Agrizzi himself, has revealed that Bosasa allegedly paid a bribe of R1.2 million, to the sister of the Sondolo technician, Bheki Gina, who was employed by the provincial Education Department, in order to secure a contract valued at R10,5 million with Bosasa subsidiary, Sondolo IT.In this regard, the Education Department skated around tender processes by claiming that the contract to install CCTV and access control systems at the Northern Cape Department of Education’s main building in Kimberley, was an “emergency requirement”.The department has indicated that they are “looking into the matter” but have yet to provide substantive comment on the allegations.Secondly, we have the Sport, Arts & Culture Department:Reports of business dealings between Bosasa and the Northern Cape Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, have also surfaced.In this regard, it has been reported that over a period of about 15 years, Bosasa, scored more than R12-billion in questionable state contracts at a number of departments, including the Northern Cape Sport, Arts and Culture department.The department has denied doing any businesses with Bosasa or African Global Operations, as they are now known, indicating that “there are no current contractual agreements with them”.Thirdly, we have the Social Development Department:In as far back as 2011, the department entered into service level agreements with Bosasa to manage the De Aar Secure Care Centre. At the time, this service level agreement was entered into between then HOD of Social Development, Mr Kholekile Nogwili, who is now the HOD of the Roads and Public Works Department.The Springbok Secure Care Centre is also managed in partnership with Bosasa.In effect, the De Aar and Springbok Secure Centres are believed to be two of at least 10 Bosasa Youth Development Centre facilities throughout the country, which provide services to children and youth in conflict with the law.While the provincial department itself has yet to speak out regarding its relationship with Bosasa, this is not the first time that Bosasa has come under the spotlight for its involvement in the Youth Development Centres.In 2017, the department’s outsourcing of this function to Bosasa, saw criticisms levelled at the department because of comparatively low wages and a lack of benefits for Bosasa staff, as well as a dictatorial style of management of the Bosasa staff working at the centres. This was in contrast to the high costs of the government contract with Bosasa, which at the time was said to be benefitting a few elites at the expense of the majority of the workers.This is what we currently know about extent of the reach of Bosasa into the Northern Cape. It is enough to raise serious suspicions about a mutually beneficial relationship between Bosasa and provincial government players. It is not, however, enough to ensure that action is taken against those who colluded with each other to benefit themselves at the expense of service delivery.While we appreciate the work that the Zondo Commission is doing in exposing corrupt relationships, the Commission’s work will mean nothing if the allegations are not acted upon.The DA is thus taking it upon our shoulders to kickstart a process of accountability for Bosasa-linked corruption in the Northern Cape.Our four-step plan to achieve this includes the following:We will be submitting a slew of parliamentary questions to ascertain the extent of the reach of Bosasa in the Northern Cape.|
In this regard, questions will be submitted to all provincial departments, to reveal all payments made and contracts entered into with Bosasa over the past two decades. We also want to ascertain who the officials or politicians were or are that were responsible for authorising these contracts and payments.We will further be submitting a request to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) to conduct their own investigation into provincial government dealings with Bosasa.Any information that we receive about any Bosasa-links to the province, will then be referred to the Zondo Commission.Aside from looking to the past, to uncover the truth about the compromised ANC government, we will also be writing to the three departments asking for the way forward with regards to Bosasa run services.Given the announcements of the closure of the banking institutions of the scandal-ridden entity, and the company’s subsequent filing for liquidation, it is critical that an urgent mitigation strategy be implemented to ensure that respective services do not come to a standstill. This is particularly important for the over 100 young people who are being cared for at the Springbok and De Aar Youth Centres.Just like the DA pushed the corruption of John Block into the spotlight, we will also push Bosasa-linked corruption in the province into the spotlight, until those responsible for enriching themselves with government funds also get to face the music.We will therefore not give up until the circle of secrecy involving a number of ANC role players and Bosasa is broken.The people of the Northern Cape are the ones battling with a shortage of teachers, with a lack of sporting facilities and with inadequate social grants. They deserve to know the truth of this deep-seated scandal.
|Andrew LouwDA Northern Cape Premier Candidate082 383 6914 Shelley De WittResearcher082 847 1387|