NEWS & ANALYSIS

De Lille: Release SIU Beitbridge report by Friday – Alf Lees

DA MP says Minister has repeatedly failed to take any responsibility for procurement processes

Minister De Lille must release SIU Beitbridge report by Friday if she has nothing to hide

26 August 2020

The Democratic Alliance (DA) calls on the Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, Patricia De Lille, to honour the request by Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) for her to hand over the investigation report by the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) into the Beitbridge Border Fence saga by Friday.

If she has nothing to hide, this request will be an easy one and she would have no problem handing the report over to Parliament for scrutiny.

Minister De Lille has repeatedly failed to take any responsibility for the procurement processes which were flouted to suit the bid of a specific company. She has instead continuously claimed that all investigations clear her of any wrongdoing.

Despite the Minister’s claims, the DA has information that her advisors, McendisiMtshali and Melissa Whitehead, were part of a meeting with various role players to discuss the procurement process. And, on Tuesday, National Treasury revealed damning findings against the Minister indicating that “it would seem the Minister had a contract, supplier or contractor in mind."

We believe that this points to the fact that De Lille knew more than she is letting on.

We question why the Minister is so reluctant to hand over the SIU report. Is she afraid that the information contained in the report will reveal the true extent to which she unduly interfered in the process of procuring the R37 million Beitbridge “Washing Line"?

The DA believes that this report will put an end to the whirlwind of contradictions and will ensure that we move from blame-shifting to accountability.

We will not allow a situation where the Covid-19 crisis is used to line pockets of the politically connected while millions of poor South Africans languish in poverty.

Should the investigation find that the Minister unduly interfered in the procurement process, then this makes her complicit in the corruption that took place and she must be fired by the President and submit herself to an investigation by law enforcement agencies.

Issued byAlf Lees,DA Member of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, 26 August 2020