Minister must launch investigation into SASSA CEO regarding allegations of corruption cover-up
26 May 2021
Note to Editors: Please find attached soundbite by Bridget Masango MP.
The DA will write to the Minister of Social Development, Lindiwe Zulu, to institute an urgent investigation against the CEO of the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA), Busisiwe Memela-Khambula, after it has come to light that not only is she allegedly linked to a nepotism cover-up, but that she is also ignoring complaints regarding irregular appointments and possible procurement corruption.
It seems the SASSA CEO is not content to simply let South Africans in her care suffer through sheer ineptitude, she also appears to have dirtied her hands by allowing corruption to thrive under her nose further disadvantaging vulnerable grant recipients.
According to the Mail & Guardian, Memela-Khambula was informed in March that a three-year cleaning contract worth R45.6 million had been awarded to Kwasa Food Suppliers, whose director is the brother-in-law of a senior SASSA official in the Eastern Cape. Despite assurances from the CEO that an investigation into this nepotism would be launched, nothing has been done, and the contract still stands.
The DA has also received complaints from SASSA employees and whistleblowers that appointments made by SASSA’s Regional Executive Manager in the Free State, Themba Matlou, has been tainted by irregularities. They have also complained that the Manager used the CEO’s name to influence procurement contracts being awarded to his preferred suppliers. These same concerns have been presented to the SASSA CEO, who has chosen to turn a blind eye and endangered the whistleblowers by forcing them to report allegation of corruption directly to the very institutions that have done nothing about these reports in the past.
It is no surprise that SASSA is in shambles and have been for years. These allegations against the CEO simply serves to highlight the damage she continues to cause such a vital agency to the detriment of millions of vulnerable South Africans that depend on their social grants for their very lives.
But Busisiwe Memela-Khambula doesn’t care, because she does not suffer the consequences. Should she be found guilty, she would simply be redeployed to another cushy position where she would be free to wreck more havoc. That is the ANC way – crucial entities are simply seen as a means to subsidize already overinflated and undeserved salaries. She should be ashamed, but from experience the DA knows that the lot of the poor does not affect the SASSA CEO.
Issued by Bridget Masango, DA Shadow Minister of Social Development, 26 May 2021