R1.5 million paid to dismissed Gauteng official – Jack Bloom

DA welcomes dismissal of Siqaza but is concerned that she was paid such a large amount because of slow disciplinary action

R1.5 million paid to dismissed Gauteng official

28 November 2016

The Democratic Alliance welcomes Premier David Makhura's dismissal of Ms Namhla Siqaza, the suspended head of the provincial Department of Arts, Sports, Culture and Recreation, but we are dismayed that she was paid R1.5 million because of  slow disciplinary action.

Ms Siqaza was suspended with full pay in October last year following evidence that she attempted to bribe Auditor-General officials to cover up irregular expenditure, including a R246 million tender for an archives centre in Kagiso on the West Rand.

According to a written reply by Premier Makhura to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature, Ms Siqaza was earning R1.4 million a year.

Former Premier Nomvula Mokonyane approved this remuneration package which was set at notch 1 of level 16 instead of the normal level 15 pay for a head of department.

According to Makhura, her salary level "was initially set at level 15, however, in light of the enormous responsibility of the Department it was decided by the Executive Authority at that time that the post be remunerated at level 16."

Ms Siqaza was clearly an overpaid political appointment as there is no justification for extra annual pay of more than R200 000 for a small department with a small budget.

I have laid criminal charges against Siqaza and two other officials two weeks ago (CAS 131/11/2016 at Norwood Police Station) concerning the alleged attempted bribery of Auditor-General officials, and I challenge the Premier to also lay criminal charges.

Disciplinary cases need to be speeded up and criminal charges laid where indicated, otherwise guilty officials benefit while suspended on full pay and escape the sanction of the law for their misdeeds.

Issued by Jack Bloom, DA Member, Oversight Committee on Premier's Office and Legislature, 28 November 2016