Following the submission of a PAIA application to the Minister of Defence, Thandi Modise, requesting that she releases the Ministerial Task Team (MTT) report into the Cuban drug procurement scandal, the Minister has instead opted to table it in Parliament.
This is still a DA victory on accountability because had we not exerted pressure on the Minister, the report would not have been released.
An important outcome is that the Military Command Council, under Generals Shoke Dabula and Mzikayise Tyhalisi, still procured the unregistered Cuban drugs despite clear red flags that they were flouting procurement and import regulations. They failed to adhere to the provisions of The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) and procurement guidelines of the PFMA.
This means that the first three deliveries of this Cuban drug were fraudulent and bought under false pretences.
The implicated parties went ahead with this deal fully aware of the acute financial constraints of the Department of Defence (DoD) and the South African National Defence Force (SANDF). Fortunately, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) took the brave step of refusing the payments of the 2nd and 3rd deliveries.
It is worth noting, however, that the South African Auditor-General (AGSA) has already classified all four orders as irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditures. This has, by extension, meant that all contracts under Operation Thusano were irregular and wasteful.
The onus is now on the Department of Defence and the SANDF to take disciplinary action against all individuals involved in the drug procurement scandal. If any wrongdoing is discovered, criminal charges should be laid .