Premier must fire MEC Tikana-Gxotiwe with immediate effect and act on PSC report

Issued by Marshall von Buchenroder, MPL
Shadow MEC for Transport

The Democratic Alliance is calling on Premier Oscar Mabuyane to fire Eastern Cape MEC for Transport, Weziwe Tikana-Gxotiwe with immediate effect.

The MEC and her Department has been implicated in several instances where public funds have been abused. From the fiasco around the use of the Miorca Lodge belonging to the MEC’s daughter as a quarantine venue and now allegations of improper contracts to host Department of Transport Officials at the lodge for more than a year.

There are also allegations of inflated prices for hand sanitisers, improper procurement of Bailey bridges and improper conduct in the expenditure for the funeral service of the Centane bus accident victims.

Not only that, but the MEC has still failed to act on the report compiled by the Public Service Commission (PSC) into allegations of irregular appointment of staff, consultants and contractors in her department. This despite direct instructions from the Premier to do so six months ago.

It should be noted that it was the MEC herself who claimed that the report was incomplete and demanded that it be set aside.

The DA notes that the Premier has instructed Provincial Treasury to conduct a forensic investigation into the tender irregularities, and that he is awaiting a judicial review relating to the PSC report.

With all due respect to the Premier, this is simply not enough.

The common thread in all of these matters is MEC Tikana-Gxotiwe. If the Premier is truly committed to instilling a culture of good and clean cooperate governance, he needs to fire the MEC with immediate effect.

We cannot afford any more fires at this time, Premier. Take away the MEC’s matches and give the authorities the space to do their work without fear or favour.

I am sure these allegations are just the tip of the iceberg, and a proper investigation will open a much bigger can of worms, but only if they are given the space to do so.

It is simply unthinkable that the Premier is spending his time fighting fires started by his own executive, when his attention should be spent on bringing the Coronavirus under control and saving the lives of the people of this province.