Eastern Cape Premier Noxolo Kiviet must take a stand and fire Rural Development and Agrarian Reform MEC Zoleka Capa if she is serious about rooting out corruption in this province. ANC politicians and their families are scoring financially from development agencies while the poor are receiving very little.
Funds that should be there for job creation are being utilised by friends and family of high ranking ANC-members.
Today’s revelations in the media about debt of R267 400 in unpaid bills and interest owed by the MEC’s husband to the Eastern Cape Rural Finance Corporation (ECRFC), of which the MEC is the political head, is the latest in allegations against the MEC and her husband, dating back to 1998.
The continued failure of the ANC not to act gives the impression that Zoleka Capa is untouchable because she is a member of the party’s National Executive Committee.
Since 2008 over R55 million has been paid out for the purchase and management of five farms in Kwazulu-Natal on behalf of the OR Tambo District Municipality. The farms were managed by the Ntinga OR Tambo Development Agency, of which Capa’s husband, Ndumiso Capa was the CEO.
This matter was first raised in August 2008 by Athol Trollip when he was a member of the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature and was given an evasive answer.
During a legislature sitting in on 26 September last year Capa declined to respond to my oral questions about the purchase – to the obvious embarrassment of her ANC colleagues — by shifting the responsibility for reply to the current mayor of the OR District Municipality and the Department of Local Government.
Despite writing to the Speaker, Fikile Xasa (who is also a member of the NEC) I am yet to receive a proper reply and it remains a mystery what direct benefit the purchase of these farms has had for the people of OR Tambo and who the identified beneficiaries are.
MEC Capa again revealed her nonchalant attitude after the DA questioned her conflict of interest, being MEC for Rural Development and Agrarian Reform coupled with her farming endeavours in OR Tambo and her background as mayor of the area. On 14 September 2012 the Daily Dispatch reported that Capa said she “would respond one day to the suggestion she had a conflict in interest in the Ntinga OR Tambo Development Agency”.
Ndumiso Capa’s involvement as part owner of the Eastern Cape Rural Development Agency and the fact that Zoleka Capa is the MEC, is an obvious conflict of interest.
The attitude of the MEC towards the Legislature, which has been mandated to hold the government accountable for its actions, reveals her disrespect not only for the institution but for the people of the Eastern Cape. When we ask questions to the MECs, we are asking them on behalf of the people of this province.
State funds are not meant to benefit officials and their families. It is our mandate as public representatives to act on behalf of the poor, not to serve our own interests. Madam Premier, by not acting you are guilty of nepotism, lack of governance and weak controls too.
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