Gauteng Premier David Makhura is set to deliver the State Of the Provincial Address following a challenging year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and corruption scandals.
PPE corruption scandals rocked the province, which saw the Health MEC Bandile Masuku being axed before the end of his term.
Makhura was also implicated but later cleared by the SIU.
He will highlight the provincial government’s service delivery action plan for the year ahead.
His speech will focus on the strategy to defeat Covid-19, reigniting Gauteng’s economic reconstruction and recovery and providing support and relief to those affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and GBV.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) Leader in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature, Solly Msimanga, has urged Makhura to allocate a budget for COVID-19 vaccines to help the province reach herd immunity sooner.
Msimanga says the province should directly engage all available suppliers to get more vaccines.
He was discussing the performance of Premier, David Makhura’s government over the past year ahead of the State of the Provincial Address (SOPA) on Tuesday.
Msimanga says the DA has formulated a few solutions for each provincial department to implement, that can help make service delivery more functional.
“We as the DA have formulated a few solutions for each provincial department to implement, that can help make service delivery more functional, considering the disastrous performance of this government during 2020. We call it the Getting Gauteng Back on Track Pack, that should help the province start getting back to some form of tangible functionality as we hope in the next 1-2 years, South Africa will be able to almost fully enter a post-Covid world,” says Msimanga.
He says Makhura should implement all the Auditor-General’s recommendations to ensure efficient and effective spending without corruption.
For the departments, Msimanga says the Department of Community Safety must make the Gauteng Traffic Police a 24-hour service.
“Ensure more coordination action between SAPS and the Metro Police to tackle gang crime throughout Gauteng such as Boko Haram in Tshwane and others. Work to reduce gender-biased violence through a multidisciplinary approach,” he says.
Msimanga has called on the Department of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation to appoint a permanent CEO of the Gauteng Film Commission to avoid further internal hostilities that result in irregular decision-making.
“Cut wasteful expenditure on unnecessary celebratory events. Implement consequence management where officials are failing to meet targets or where they are found to be acting in either a corrupt manner or wasteful manner against the good practice of public service,”
The opposition party also wants the Department of Education to immediately place all Grade 1 and 8 students who are yet to be allocated schools for the 2021 academic year.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng has submitted a letter to the Hawks to begin investigation into Gauteng Premier, David Makhura.
The opposition submitted the letter to the Hawks in Pretoria on Thursday.
The party says the former Chief Financial Officer Kabelo Lehloenya implicated Makhura in the province’s COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) scandal.
DA Gauteng leader, Solly Msimanga, says the crime-fighting body must investigate the entire Gauteng government.
“We are here outside the offices of the Hawks here in Pretoria where we have come to give in a letter and also request investigation to be done into the office of the premier and to request that government of Gauteng really be investigated in terms of what has been happening since the pandemic has started,” he says.
Msimanga adds, “Right now we are talking about close to R2.8 billion that has really gone towards corruption and fruitless expenditure.”
The Gauteng DA leader says Lehloenya alleged that the premier gave her six companies to be awarded the contracts.
He says his party will table a motion of no confidence if investigations take time.
“We don’t have the confidence that the Gauteng departments will be able to investigate themselves within the province.
“We are asking for the Hawks and we also writing a letter to the Auditor General, the Special Investigating Unit, and the President of the country to look into this matter and really investigate what is happening and give us answers before we take steps further in terms of tabling a motion of no confidence into the premier in the legislature, even before the state of the province address is to take place.”
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and the ANC Youth League have called for Makhura to vacate office.
The calls comes after news emerged that former Gauteng Health Department chief financial officer, Kabelo Lehloenya, had implicated Makhura in the scandal.
In her affidavit at the special tribunal, Lehloenya stated that Premier Makhura gave her the names of the companies to appoint to supply and deliver PPEs in the province.
“The DA is not surprised to learn that Premier Makhura has been implicated in the awarding of the multi-million personal protective equipment (PPEs) tenders. This PPE corruption scandal happened under Makhura’s watch and he did not do anything to prevent it. The DA calls on President Cyril Ramaphosa to ask the SIU to urgently investigate these allegations levelled against the Gauteng Premier,” says the DA’s Gauteng leader, Solly Msimanga.
The Economic Freedom Fighters in the province has on the other hand called for Mkhura to resign over the matter, while the Cosatu affiliated nurses’ union, DENOSA, has urged him to take special leave.
In October, DENOSA Gauteng chairperson, Simphiwe Gada, said the union would work with Makhura once the SIU’s investigation is complete and his name is cleared.
The union says the Premier has a tendency of escaping accountability.
It has cited the Life Esidimeni tragedy, which claimed the lives of 143 psychiatric patients after the Gauteng health department moved at least 1 700 patients from Life Esidimeni facilities to ill-equipped NGOs and state facilities in 2016.
“As I said from the get go – I was set on setting the record straight and clearing my name. One part is done, the next part is to make sure that there is a civil claim,” DA Gauteng leader, Solly Msimanga, has told Local Voices while reacting to the National Prosecuting Authority’s decision not to prosecute him for sexual harassment.
Msimanga says he has instructed his lawyers to proceed with the lawsuit against former DA Gauteng MPL, Nkele Molapo, who had accused him of sexual harassment.
The former Tshwane Mayor is confident that a court will rule in his favour in the lawsuit against Molapo.
He says after the civil claim – he will publish the real story behind the accusations. He says he has been receiving numerous calls from people who find themselves in the same boat as him.
“Because I think a lot of people in South Africa need to know what really happens and what is really happening. I mean this is not the first time that a political figure would be wrongfully accused and sometimes things just turn to die without it being followed. Families are destroyed and lives are destroyed. I am going to ensure that that’s not the case.”
Msimanga says false sexual harassment and rape allegations are problematic as they take away from the real cases that need attention. He says he wants the lawsuit against Molapo to deter other women from laying bogus claims against men.
“It is these bogus cases that go unabated that we now need to make sure that as much as we are talking about not in my name and wanting men to behave in a particular way, we should also be condemning women who are using this pandemic in South Africa for their own selfish and stupid personal gains or personal vendettas. This is something I am definitely not going to let go until a lesson is learnt and over and above that – we are going to make sure that anybody who thinks about doing this in future will have to think twice because there will be consequences.”
A charge that she was found guilty of and summarily expelled from the party.
The DA questioned her timing of the reporting on the alleged sexual harassment.
However, Molapo believes the DA was bias in the matter.
Now, she is insinuating that DA Federal Council Chairperson, Helen Zille, might have had prior knowledge that the NPA would drop the charge against Msimanga.
Molapo says prior to her meeting with the NPA, Zille wrote an article that “reads like it was written by someone who knew what the outcome would be.”
In the piece, titled Getting closer to the Truth for a Sex Scandal, the DA Federal leader questions the treatment of the harassment case against Msimanga by the media, among other issues.
Zille said despite numerous social media posts Molapo had written calling Msimanga “Eye Candy”, her “Monday Crush”; “King Solly”, no media house questioned Molapo’s motives for laying a charge six years after the alleged sexual harassment incident.
She accuses Molapo of having accelerated victimhood after realising that she stood no chance of winning the misconduct case against her.
Molapo says she will be officially writing to the NPA requesting issuance of a nolle prosequi certificate following their decision not to proceed with the sexual assault case.
“What I find particularly strange is that the prosecutor conceded that my version was more believable, and in fact went as far as saying that with the evidence before him, he doesn’t doubt that the incident did take place. However, he will not prosecute because of one minor thing that might let the accused off the hook. Even when I said that I’m willing to take the stand and be grilled by the defence on that technicality, he declined to prosecute because he has the discretion to do so.”
Molapo says she is seeking legal advice on the matter and might push for a private prosecution.
“We have never spoken to her. I do not know her. I saw a headline that says a person has been expelled because she gave Malema information of the DA. No, the person who gives me the information of the DA is White; it is not a Black person. So, we are dealing with Whites who are concerned there at the DA that this thing is becoming racist and they are not racist. I have given some of them forms so I hope they will come soon. Very prominent Whites,” he told journalists at a press briefing in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.
Molapo is also not rolling over and playing dead.
She is taking the party to court.
“After studying the DA’s irrational ruling and obtaining legal opinion on the same, I have decided to file for a review in the court of law, so as to have my case heard by an unbiased, fair and just body. After subjecting myself to all internal processes, approaching the court of law naturally becomes the next step,” she says in a statement.
Molapo says the notion that DA’s internal disciplinary hearing panels are firewalled against politics is a lie.
“Not only is the chairperson of the Federal Legal Commission (FLC) a member of the DA in Tshwane (Gauteng North region) but the chairperson of the panel that heard my appeal is married to a member of the DA in the same region. Both are au fait with the politics in the region.”
She believes that her disciplinary process was biased, unfair and its outcome was predetermined.
The Democratic Alliance is yet to respond to the developments. Acting DA Gauteng Communications Manager, Charity McCord, has told Local Voices that the party is still deliberating on the matter.
Molapo is also embroiled in a sexual harrasment tussle with the DA’s interim Gauteng leader and former Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga. She says the matter is with the police.
Msimanga has denied sexually harrassing Molapo and has laid a crimen injuria case against her.