Home News Calls for senior official in Premier’s Office to be suspended

Calls for senior official in Premier’s Office to be suspended

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The deputy director-general in the Premier’s Office, Steven Jonkers, along with two directors from Defensor Electronic Security Systems, was granted bail in the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court last Friday. Picture: Danie van der Lith

Nehawu and the DA have called for the suspension of the deputy-director general in the Premier’s Office, Steven Jonkers, following his arrest last week.

THE NATIONAL Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) and the DA in the Northern Cape have called for the suspension of the deputy-director general in the Premier’s Office, Steven Jonkers, following his arrest by the Hawks last week.

Jonkers and two directors from Defensor Electronic Security Systems, Gert van Rooyen and Claudius Petterson, were charged with fraud, contravention of the Public Finance Management Act, contravention of the Security Act and contravention of the Private Security Industry Regulation Act 56 of 2001.

The charges relate to a R453.6 million security tender that was awarded by the Northern Cape Department of Health to Defensor Electronic Security Systems in 2017.

Jonkers is a former HOD for the provincial Department of Health.

Jonkers received bail of R50,000 while his two co-accused were released on bail of R100,000 last week

Nehawu provincial secretary Moleme Moleme said that the former HOD could not have been “acting alone”.

“Nehawu has been consistent in raising the issue of corruption, especially pertaining to the illegal awarding of the Defensor security tender. As much as we welcome the arrest, we believe that the former HOD was not acting alone in this matter,” said Moleme. “We call upon the Hawks to widen their investigation to include former officials at the Department of Health as well as the Premier’s Office.

“We also call for the immediate suspension of Jonkers.”

Moleme pointed out that Nehawu had raised the alarm on several occasions regarding allegations of irregularity in the awarding of the security tender.

“However, nothing was done. The premier must effectively deal with those involved in corrupt activities in the Province.The insourcing of security must be prioritised at the Department of Health. This will result in a massive saving of money and the curbing of corruption.”

DA provincial leader Harold McGluwa also believed that further steps should be taken against Jonkers.

“Jonkers must be immediately suspended pending the outcome of the case. The premier, Dr Zamani Saul, must clean up his office following the embarrassing arrest of one of his most senior advisers,” said McGluwa.

He called on Saul to stop the looting of public funds.

“As the crime-busting wave in the Northern Cape continues, government departments should not take a step back and leave it to the Hawks to swoop in on corruption.

“The premier, Dr Zamani Saul, in particular must waste no time in cleaning up his office where one of his most senior staff members, to whom he entrusted very big economic projects, has been charged for corruption.”

The Northern Cape Department of Health did not respond to media enquiries regarding whether the security contract would be extended as it is currently running on a month-to-month basis.

The Premier’s Office did not elaborate on whether Jonkers would be suspended.

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