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By Mergan Chetty MP – DA Shadow Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation
The DA welcomes the dismissal of the CFO of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), Caiphus Ramashua, over his alleged role in the R118 million fruitless and wasteful expenditure in the highly controversial New York Pilot Project. We still believe that there are more senior officials and politicians who are closely connected to the political elite in the ANC, who also need to face the chop.
The dismissal of the CFO, who supposedly believed DIRCO was his own fiefdom and that he was untouchable, was largely due to the continuous pressure by the DA in insisting that the initial dismissal of the former Director General, Kgabo Mahoai, was merely a smokescreen to protect other senior officials and politicians who were entangled in this corrupt deal.
The department had paid R118 million to the Simeke Group/JV Regiments Capital joint venture, who incidentally did not tender for the project. Minister Naledi Pandor had been very reluctant to take the Portfolio Committee into her confidence regarding the issues surrounding the investigations around the corrupt officials and politicians. Yet it was the oversight visit to New York, by MPs that resulted in exposing the R118 million corruption scandal.
The DA still demands in the wake of the CFO’s dismissal that President Cyril Ramaphosa recalls and suspend both Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane — under whose watch this New York Pilot Project were initiated and for failing to exercise her executive oversight — and Ambassador Jerry Matjila, who was the Director General during that period. We will write to the President in this regard.
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