Concerns Raised Over Hennie Nel’s Removal While Inquiry Is On

Concerns have been raised about the removal of Matzikama Municipality speaker Hennie Nel while the municipality is being investigated for irregularities and alleged Covid-19-related PPE corruption.

The SACP on the West Coast has criticised the recent removal of Nel by the ANC West Coast regional disciplinary committee while the municipality was facing an investigation.

District secretary Lucky Bopape said although they respected the internal processes of the ANC, they could not be silent and had to raise the alarm.

“We cannot be silent when disciplinary processes are subjected to political machinations of factions that seek to purge ethical leaders in order to frustrate ongoing investigations and thereby conceal fraud, corruption and nepotism.

“We want to make it categorically clear that those who seek to use the municipality as a cash-cow must know that their days are numbered,” said Bopape.

However, ANC West Coast secretary Neville Delport said Nel’s removal was considered before the Covid-19 investigations.

“People are misinformed, it’s not a matter that arose during Covid-19. Nel was asked to resign because he was ill-disciplined. His resignation was communicated to him.

“The ANC gave us permission to discipline him. The matter will only be communicated to the public once the West Coast REC receives a report from our disciplinary committee,” he said.

Nel did not respond to questions by deadline.

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) meanwhile said it has presented an update to President Cyril Ramaphosa on all investigations of companies awarded personal protective equipment (PPE) procurement contracts.

The SIU revealed recently that five companies awarded PPE tenders in the province were being probed.

SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said the investigation was ongoing.

“We presented an update to the president of all the investigations last week. The investigation is ongoing. We will update the president again after another six weeks.”

Premier Alan Winde previously said the SIU revealed the investigations to Parliament’s standing committee on public accounts. Of the companies probed, two were from the DA-led departments of Education and Health, two were into procurement in the ANC-run Matzikama and Laingsburg municipalities, and one was listed for the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

The premier said that the Western Cape did not have a Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, and they were awaiting clarity.

Yesterday, Winde said they were co-operating fully with the SIU and submitted all of the required documentation.

“This is an open and ongoing investigation by the SIU and any details on the investigation must be obtained from them,” he said.

Winde said they were committed to “openness and transparency with regards to our Covid-19 procurement and spending. This is evidenced by the fact that we were the first province to release details of our PPE procurement.”

Provincial government also recently published its second edition of its procurement disclosure report.

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