20 January 2013
The IFP today expressed its concern with the
latest negative media report about the Department of Women,
Children and People with Disabilities following two exposÚs by
the Sunday Independent.
However, the situation is hardly surprising.
On the 10th of October 2012, when Minister
Lulu Xingwana appeared in front of the Portfolio Committee on
Women, Children and People with Disabilities, she presented with
her Annual Report, the Department's turn-around strategy as well
as a copy of the Fluxman report into serious transgressions with
regard to staff appointments, payments for overtime and
resettlement costs, dishonesty, non-declaration of interests
during recruitment and other violations and transgressions
within the Department.
Minister Xingwana reported that these
contributed immensely to the current overspending, and the lack
of expertise in the Department.
They had thus directly and negatively affected
Minister Xingwana further stated that the
former Director-General, former Chief Financial Officer and
senior officials in Human Resource and Resource Management
Directorate were found to have been grossly negligent. Three of
the eight senior staffs who were implicated in the investigative
report left the Department, and disciplinary measures were
commenced against the remaining five.
When members of the Committee wanted to
interrogate the report, both in the Portfolio Committee and in
front of the Appropriations Committee, debate around the issue
was shut down as the report was "sub judice".
Even today, I note that in the PMG report,
nowhere does it make any reference to the Fluxman report, when
the Minister clearly referred to it.
Moreover, allegations today that the Minister
flouted supply chain management procedures to appoint Fluxmans
Attorneys, also comes as a surprise, since the Minister reported
to the Portfolio Committee that the correct procedures were
The IFP has always commended Minister Xingwana
for her frankness about the critical challenges within her
Department, as well as putting forward a comprehensive
turnaround strategy. However, now that serious questions are
again being raised about the Department within the public
domain, the IFP is of the opinion that it is time for all those
involved in the management of this Department - both the current
executive as well as the previous Director-General and her team
- to come clean on the allegations that have been levelled
Clearly, there are too many unanswered
questions. The taxpayers, the public at large, and more
importantly, the most vulnerable sectors of our society - women,
children and people with disabilities - whom this Department is
supposed to serve, deserve answers.
MS LIEZL VAN DER MERWE MP
IFP SPOKESPERSON ON WOMEN, CHILDREN AND PEOPLE