DA vindicated in exposing DIRCO cover-up in R118m New York project 

Issued by Mergan Chetty MP – DA Shadow Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation
15 Jun 2023 in News

The DA has been vindicated by the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA), which declared the Department of International Relations and Cooperation’s (DIRCO) controversial contract to build a new multibillion-rand diplomatic headquarters for South Africa’s diplomats in New York as unlawful.

Throughout this process, we have consistently maintained that certain factions within the ANC deliberately protected senior politicians and officials involved in initiating this corrupt deal. We have also raised concerns that the former Director General, Kgabo Mohoai, was made a scapegoat to shield those who believed they were untouchable within the ANC.

The dismissal of the former CFO, Caiphius Ramallah, was primarily a result of the relentless pressure exerted by the DA. We firmly asserted that the initial dismissal of the former Director General, Kgabo Mahoai, was a mere smokescreen to protect the CFO, Minister Nkwanazi-Mashabane, Ambassador Matjila, and other senior DIRCO officials and politicians entangled in this corrupt deal.

The department paid R118 million to the Gupta-linked Simeke Group/ JV Regiments Capital joint venture, which did not participate in the project’s tender process. Minister Pandor displayed significant reluctance in sharing information with the Portfolio Committee regarding the investigations into the corrupt officials and politicians involved.

Despite the ANC’s attempt to disrupt the Portfolio Committee by replacing Hon Thandi Mahambehahle with Hon Supra Mahumaphelu as the former chairperson, the DA remained resolute in its pursuit of accountability. Hon Mahambehahle is now also vindicated for her steadfast stance in solidarity with the Portfolio Committee’s position.

The DA has consistently called for the suspension and removal of Minister Nkwanazi-Mashabane, under whose watch this New York Pilot Project and its associated misconduct occurred, for her failure to exercise executive oversight. We also demand further investigation into the conduct of Ambassador Jerry Matjila, who served as both the Dirco Minister and Director General when this tender originated and was implicated in the investigation hearings by former DG Mohaoi.

We urge that appropriate action be taken against them based on the findings of the investigation.

The DA eagerly awaits DIRCO’s response regarding the outcome of this court case and the consequences faced by those who misled Parliament, as well as the resolution of the unfair dismissal of former DG Kgabo Mohoai.

Minister Pandor previously assured Parliament that those found guilty would be dismissed and face criminal charges. We now anticipate the minister’s next course of action.

Be part of the mission to rescue South Africa, register correctly to vote now at check.da.org.za