The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] condemns the failure by the speaker of the Northern Cape Legislature, Hon Kenny Mmoeimang, to deal decisively with fraud and corruption reported by the national union.
As NEHAWU, we are extremely disappointed by the conduct of the speaker who is hell-bent on shielding those who have committed both fraud and corruption. A Speaker of a Legislature should behave in a manner that creates public trust and confidence in public representatives and to protect the integrity of the Legislature thereby giving rise to respect and confidence that the society of the Northern Cape needs to have in the Legislature as a law making institution. Every decision that the Speaker takes must solely be in terms of public interest and without regard to personal, financial or other material benefit to themselves, their immediate family, business partners or friends. The Speaker must also promote and support ethical conduct.
However, the Speaker of the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature has failed to create public trust, confidence and to protect the integrity of the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature. The Speaker has been nothing other than an embarrassment to the staff of NCPL, the people of the Northern Cape, and his profession considering the fact that he was a practicing attorney in his previous life and also the organization that he is representing at the NCPL and has led in various portfolios.
The Speaker has failed to discharge his obligations in terms of the Constitution and all relevant legislation particularly the Financial Management of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures Act of 2009. For the past year the only work that the Speaker has been involved in is to progressively protect fraud and corruption at the NCPL. The Speaker has done this in spite of legal advice that he sought from the state attorneys as well as internal legal advice.
The Speaker has on numerous occasions mislead the public as well as Members of the Provincial Legislature for the sake of protecting fraud and corruption. The Speaker is struggling to do the simplest thing that a person in his position is required to do; and that is to investigate fraud and corruption that was reported to him by NEHAWU from March 2017 and particularly September 2017. As early as November 2017, the State Attorney advised the Speaker to investigate these allegations.
Because the Speaker has become the vanguard of fraud and corruption, the speaker has resorted to uttering lies without flinching. The Speaker is lying in the name Standing Committee on Rules; in his correspondence to State Attorney in requesting them to respond to NEHAWU, at no point did the Rules Committee consider any opinion from State Attorney and Auditor General as such opinions were never presented to the Committee therefore the Standing Committee on Rules never requested the Speaker to elevate the matter to the Office of the Speaker of National Parliament and the Department of Public Service and Administration for guidance.
He also misled the State Attorney, because he is not willing to accept their recommendations. He is willing to compromise his ethics as an admitted attorney, a leader in society and Speaker of the Legislature for the sake of nurturing and protecting fraud and corruption.
In the so called meeting the Speaker did not produce a single “opinion” for the committee to consider, we also want to place on record that there is no such “opinion” from the Office of the Auditor- General. The only opinion the Speaker received in relation to the fraud and corruption allegations is from the Office of the State Attorney which the Speaker does not want to implement, because it advises to investigate the allegations. It has completely escaped our imagination as to why would the Speaker mislead the state attorney and use the name of Standing Committee on Rules in vain.
Furthermore, in his quest to protect corruption and fraud the Speaker has since written a letter to the Speaker of Parliament, Honorable Mbete and Honorable Minister Ayanda Dlodlo. In his correspondence he states that he was tasked to request their intervention in this matter because the opinions don’t speak to each other. Once more for the sake of protecting fraud and corruption the speaker resorts to lies and misled the Speaker of National Parliament and the Minister of Public Service and Administration.
We still do not know what intervention and guidance the Speaker of the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature expects besides investigating the fraud and corruption allegations against the Secretary to the Legislature and the CFO. The Speaker, besides lying is even prepared to relinquish his power as the executive authority and request the intervention of other institutions that he is not accountable to, just for the sake of protecting fraud and corruption.
The only reasonable lesson the Speaker can learn from Honourable Mbete is her courage to deal with fraud and corruption. She did not request any intervention from any external institution in investigating the allegations as reported by NEHAWU against the Secretary to Parliament.
The so-called new Financial Code that mushroomed last month is an example of such. We do not understand how he signs a policy with so many spelling errors and contradictions just for the sake of giving the CFO power to write-off debt. This policy is supposedly signed by the Speaker in 2013, and we know that it is backdated and these are clearly tricks of fraudsters; such amendments do not exist as there was no consultation with all relevant stakeholders such as NEHAWU. We know that the intention is to deal with the R2 million credit card fraud, however, that is too late as the HAWKS investigation is at an advanced stage in relation to this.
The national union is made to believe that the speaker is unable to take action because he is being continuously threatened about favours done on his behalf, such as his request that from 2014 a friend to him who was also a service provider to the Legislature be ferried between Kimberly and Johannesburg using the credit card of the legislature to pay for all those trips. Chief amongst other reasons the Speaker is unable to investigate as per the provisions of FAMPLA as a result of the renovations at the Legislature building in Galeshewe in which we are made to believe that the Speaker is a beneficiary.
We call upon Members of the Provincial Legislature to be honest and distance themselves from the conduct of the Speaker, particularly those who are enjoying favours from the CFO in exchange for their silence. Furthermore, we want to caution members of the provincial legislature about the Speakers reducing the Rules Committee into a travelling agent where the only discussion he is eager to engage in is in relation to international study tours that do not benefit the institution nor the communities of the Northern Cape.
The national union will approach the Northern Cape High Court to seek a declaratory order to force the Speaker of the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature to invoke section 67 (2) of Financial Management of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures Act. We believe that the Speaker does not need any legal opinion in order to investigate fraud and financial misconduct in the legislature.
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