Cope national committee member Pakes Dikgetsi has accused Northern Cape Premier Dr Zamani Saul of protecting cadres and ‘aiding and abetting’ acts of corruption, maladministration and ill-governance.
COPE national committee member Pakes Dikgetsi has accused Northern Cape Premier Dr Zamani Saul of protecting cadres and “aiding and abetting” acts of corruption, maladministration and ill-governance.
He also accused Saul of double standards.
“The premier pretended to be a ‘Mr Clean’ when he assumed office but now he is covering up these compromised characters. It was just a matter of time before his true colours were exposed. He issued political mandates to ANC members of the provincial legislature to block investigations into the controversial Kimberley Mental Health Hospital. He later described it as a ‘monument of corruption’ when he became premier in 2019 – talk of dishonesty and betrayal,” said Dikgetsi.
“His initial promises of clean governance differ from the actions over the years of his incumbent administration. It is shocking but not surprising that his appointment of some head of departments (HODs) and other senior officials in the provincial administration are appearing in court.”
Dikgetsi stated that the HOD for the Department of Health, Dr Dion Theys, and the chief financial officer, Daniel Gaborone, were not suspended since their recent arrest on charges of corruption and money laundering and of contravening the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA), in relation to a R16.9 million personal protective equipment (PPE) tender.
“The same HOD was found guilty in the Kimberley regional court on a separate charge of contravening the Public Finance Management Act earlier this month for the lease that was concluded for nursing accommodation at the JP Hugo hostels.”
He found it “even more shocking” that Saul had renewed their five-year appointment contract earlier this year after charges relating to another R43 million PPE tender was removed from the court roll in 2022.
“This is while he ought to have known that the Covid-19 PPE charges against this HOD, which were provisionally withdrawn, are likely to be reinstated. The HOD and CFO are back at work and things are normal.”
Dikgetsi added that the premier appointed the HOD for the Department of Public Works, Dr Johnny McKay, even though he was facing 217 criminal charges in the Upington regional court.
“He is still at work and not suspended. A senior official in the Department of Education who failed to disclose a criminal record is still at work.
“The director-general has been acting for more than three years. The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Land Reform has not had a permanent HOD but an acting capacity for five years. Some HODs were just recently appointed after acting for years.
“There is an ulterior motive to allow this untenable situation, as it makes people vulnerable to manipulation.”
The Premier’s Office did not respond to media enquiries.