Dr. Allan Grootboom, MPL
DA Northern Cape: Spokesperson on Education
071 682 6806
The Democratic Alliance (DA) welcomes the arrest of the five suspects accused in the security tender scandal which has rocked the Northern Cape Department of Roads & Public Works. At this stage we will monitor the court proceedings, and trust that the law will take its course.
The arrests come after investigations relating to four allegedly corrupt senior officials in the Department of Roads & Public Works accused of having fraudulently awarded a tender for the provision of security services to benefit the owner of Karibuni Security Services, Mr. Motsamai Rantho. The four senior officials in question, former Head of Department, Elias Selemela, current Chief Director, Ruth Palm, current Chief Financial Officer, Bradley Slingers, and Deputy Director, Burt Barends, all appeared in the Kimberley Magistrates Court on Thursday to face charges.
The DA views the charges faced by the five accused in a serious light. At the heart of it, they expose a situation of unaccountability which we have raised in the past as plaguing not only the Roads & Public Works Department, but most of the Northern Cape Provincial Government too.
The DA has this past week raised concerns around the Departments lack of internal controls, as cited by the Auditor-General in the Departments annual report. We have always held the view that this situation opens the door for corrupt and fraudulent activity to occur.
The Karibuni security tender case currently before the courts is said to have cost the Department about R47 million. This is money which could have better served the public, and in fact for the same amount, the Provincial Government could have built 671 low-cost houses! Instead it has been squandered through alleged fraud and corruption.
The DA hopes that any of the accused that are found to be guilty, must face the full might of the law, as that would serve as an effective deterrent to other officials and people contemplating committing the same crimes.