Troubling revelations about MEC’s BnB connection need to be answered

Issued by Marshall von Buchenroder, MPL
DA Chief Whip in the EC Legislature

The Democratic Alliance is deeply concerned about revelations that one of the quarantine sites identified in the Eastern Cape, the Mioca Bed and Breakfast in Cala, has ties to the MEC of Transport, Safety and Liaison, Weziwe Tikana-Gxothiwe.

Serious questions need to be answered relating to how this specific Bed and Breakfast, which is reportedly owned and operated by MEC Tikana-Goniwe’s daughter, Kwakhanya Tikana, was identified as a quarantine site in the first place.

At a time like this, government needs to put its best foot forward and ensure that there is no appearance of a conflict of interest, or any indication of impropriety or wrong doing, if it is to keep the public’s trust in the processes being implemented to curb the spread of the Coronavirus.

It is therefore troubling that the MEC of Health, Sindiswa Gomba, has said she was not aware that Mioca Lodge in Cala had been used as a quarantine site.

The DA will be submitting questions to both the MEC of Health as well as to the MEC of Public Works, Babalo Madikizela, for a full report on the matter, including what criteria were used to identify the site, as well as how much the state spent on accommodating the 14 patients who were quarantined at the BnB between Wednesday and Friday.

We will also be asking for a full report on the other accommodation facilities that have been identified, and whether background checks have been conducted at these facilities to prevent similar instances from occurring going forward.

At a time like this, when all parties need to work together, we cannot allow allegations of impropriety to break the solidarity that we need to defeat this pandemic.