Please find an attached soundbite by Samantha Graham-Maré MP
It comes as no surprise that Minister Patricia De Lille has been directly implicated by the companies alleged to have improperly benefited from the construction of the infamous Beit Bridge border fence.
As we have stated from the beginning of this debacle, the entire process emanated from the Ministerial Directive in the name of Minister De Lille, dated 16 March 2020. In the Directive, the Minister stipulates as to who the Project Team is, when they will meet with the appointed contractor (who had clearly been defined at this stage already), as well as instructions to the CFO to issue an emergency variation order for procurement. The Minister further instructed the CFO to put emergency payment mechanisms in place to ensure weekly payment of the contractor. Every single one of these instructions is direct ministerial interference in procurement and extremely irregular.
Documents in my possession, provided by a whistleblower within the DPWI, provide detailed timelines of the meetings and interventions undertaken by members of the Minister’s staff including Melissa Whitehead (Special Advisor), Mr Mcendisi Mtshali (Technical Advisor/Senior Secretary) and Nadine Fourie (Special Advisor – Legal). These include site visits prior to the issuing of the Directive, as well as their attendance in meetings to discuss procurement, deviations and variation orders. Once again, this indicates ministerial involvement that goes far beyond the role of the Executive in their Department.
It remains of great concern that the only person not implicated in any of these shenanigans is Minister Patricia De Lille. We have requested that President Ramaphosa investigate her role in the Beit Bridge Border Fence fiasco, but these calls have gone unheard.
Perhaps it is time that Minister de Lille comes clean and admits to her integral role in the whole saga. For how long can she continue to blame everyone else? Minister De Lille – you started the process, you issued the directive, you signed off on the procurement and then you threw everyone under the bus! It starts and stops with you!