By all means, fire MEC Tikana Gxothiwe, Premier!

Issued by Marshall von Buchenroder, MPL
Shadow MEC for Transport

It is about time that Premier Oscar Mabuyane acts against the wayward Transport MEC, Weziwe Tikana Gxothiwe.

There has been a dark cloud over MEC Tikana Gxothiwe’s head, and the Democratic Alliance has been calling on Premier Mabuyane to dismiss her for years.

The Transport MEC has long shirked her duties as a member of Mabuyane’s executive. Not only has she failed to fulfil her duties, but she and her department have been implicated in several instances where public funds have been abused.

These include the fiasco around the use of the Miorca Lodge, owned by her daughter, as a quarantine venue, as well as improper contracts to host Department of Transport Officials at the lodge for a full year. While the MEC has since been cleared of wrongdoing by the Public Protector, serious questions remain.

Similar questions remain regarding her husband securing a R1.6 million Covid-19 contract to supply the Department of Education with PPE.

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.

MEC Tikana Gxothiwe also 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.

Worse, the MEC was caught on tape during a rant against staff that she had used the department’s deputy director-general Lomex Sisilana to hire them into senior positions

It is a pity that Premier Mabuyane is only considering to act against MEC Tikana Gxothiwe now, when it is politically expedient to do so. He should have taken action years ago, and appointed somebody who actually has the best interests of the people of this province at heart.