NEWS & ANALYSIS

De Lille essentially admits to wrongdoing - Samantha Graham-Maré

DA MP says this relates to minister identifying a service provider for "special" media services

DA reiterates call for De Lille removal following her High Court “admission of wrongdoing”

10 September 2020

In papers filed with the North Gauteng Division of the High Court, the Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, Patricia De Lille, admitted to identifying a service provider for "special" media services in her department but said that she did not instruct anyone to break the law.

The DA views that as an admission of wrongdoing on the part of the Minister and again calls on President Cyril Ramaphosa to fire her without delay.

This is not the first time the Minister has been implicated in "identifying" service providers to do work in her department.

The Minister was also fingered in alleged procurement irregularities related to the Beitbridge Border fence debacle when a report by the National Treasury found that “it would seem the Minister had a contract, supplier or contractor in mind" when she issued a  variation order to seemingly ensure that a specific contractor, Magwa Construction was appointed. While this process was later aborted, the contractor was still appointed via an accelerated procurement process.

Minister De Lille now seems to have an established track record of meddling in the procurement processes of the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI).  With two very confirmed incidents, and another allegation in the High Court matter, it appears that a pattern of ministerial instructions to DPWI officials is emerging.  This is more than the mere “interventions” she has claimed to have engaged in.  This is very clearly interference.  And this has created perfect conditions for maladministration to flourish.

Minister De Lille took an oath to uphold the law.  She is appears to be failing to do this.

Minister De Lille has been tasked with heading the government’s new infrastructure strategy.  She will have control of billions of rands worth of projects over the short to medium term.  If she cannot be trusted to follow the rules on a fence and a media company appointment, how do we trust her with the biggest infrastructure drive in democratic South Africa?

If President Ramaphosa is serious about addressing corruption in his Cabinet, he will heed the DA's call and fire Patricia De Lille.

Issued by Samantha Graham-Maré, DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, 10 September 2020