SPEAKER APOLOGISES TO MPL: DAILY DISPATCH

FIKILE Xasa, speaker in the Bhisho legislature, acknowledged yesterday that a disputed report on the implementation of a house decision on outstanding payments to traffic police was late.

Xasa and DA MPL Veliswa Mvenya argued last week about a longstanding matter between the provincial department of transport and a group of Transkei traffic officers.

The 78 traffic officers claim they are owed millions after being placed on the wrong salary scales when theymoved from the old Transkei administration in 1996 to fall under the Eastern Cape government.

Mvenya had taken Xasa to task for allegedly failing to follow up on Transport MEC Thandiswa Marawu’s implementation of a house resolution that the officers be paid within 30 days from June 23.

The department did not make the payments before the deadline and Mvenya wanted Xasa to enforce a requirement for the MEC to explain the delay in writing, and outline steps to see the job done.

Xasa defended Marawu, saying the MEC had reported on the progress of all resolutions taken in the house on June 23, including the issue of the officers. He said the report was sent to his office and had been forwarded to the committee, something that was disputed by Mvenya, another oversight committee member John Korkie, and the committee’s coordinator.

Now Xasa has acknowledged that the report was delayed.

In a statement yesterday, the legislature said Xasa “is sincerely apologising to [Mvenya] and the public for the inconvenience that has been caused by the delay of the information from the administration”.

“This led us to jump to assumptions for the process that had to be followed, and an inquiry has since been instituted in this regard,” it read.

The statement also alleged the Daily Dispatch reporter covering the report had tricked transport portfolio committee coordinator Siviwe Qoyise into conceding the report had not been submitted on time.

The Daily Dispatch denies that allegation. The reporter identified himself at the start of the conversation. — DDR