Pandor must honour SCA judgment and abandon the Pan African Parliament vanity project

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

Minister Pandor has failed in her executive oversight, neglecting to address financial mismanagement and instead protecting incompetent and corrupt politicians and senior officials.

The recent judgment by the Supreme Court of Appeals declared the unlawful nature of the infamous R118 million fruitless and wasteful expenditure on the New York Pilot Project tender linked to the Gupta Family. This verdict has exposed Minister Pandor’s sheltering of senior politicians and officials in DIRCO who believed themselves to be untouchable.

One can understand their sense of entitlement given that this debacle has persisted since its inception in 2016 without anyone taking responsibility or being held accountable for these misdeeds.

The Department has squandered R118 million on a project that lacks land, a building, or a title deed. In fact, there is nothing to justify the unlawful expenditure of R118 million.

Currently, DIRCO finds itself in a similar predicament regarding the construction of premises to host the Pan African Parliament in South Africa. Like the New York Pilot Project, hosting the Pan African Parliament at Gallagher Estate is currently costing South Africa R3.2 million per month in rent. The long-delayed Pan African Parliament building has already cost us R90 million for a wetland property, not to mention the R40 million annual rental for Gallagher Estate.

We have repeatedly demanded that the Minister seriously reconsider continuing with this vanity project, as South Africa can no longer afford it. Over half a billion rand has already been spent on rentals, with nothing more than a barren piece of land to show for it.

We call upon the Minister and her department to abandon this project and allow other member countries that are eager to host the PAP in their own countries to rescue us from further embarrassment. We cannot keep the lights on in South Africa; how can we burden this department with yet another multi-million rand fruitless and wasteful expenditure?

Minister, we urge you to exhibit the same forthright and aggressive nature in declaring that DIRCO is not a cash cow for comrades connected to the elite in the ANC, as you did when stating that South Africa is not for sale in relation to hosting the AGOA Forum.

The DA will continue to highlight the incompetence and wasteful expenditure of this department, even if the Minister chooses to bury her head in the sand like an oblivious ostrich. South Africa cannot waste any more millions of rands to appease the egos of ANC bigwigs.

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