DA files complaint with the Public Protector over Zikalala’s misleading claims on construction mafia arrests

Issued by Sello Seitlholo MP – DA Shadow Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure
15 Oct 2023 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Sello Seitlholo MP.

The DA has filed a complaint with the Public Protector against the Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure for breaching the Executive Ethics Code following a deliberate disinformation campaign in which he sought to mislead the public through false claims that 200 construction mafia related arrests have been made to date. He has not only failed to prove these claims but has tried to bully the DA into silence by demanding that we apologise to him for exposing his lies.

Zikalala has failed to come up with a cogent plan to deal with the menace of construction mafias who have caused severe disruptions at construction sites and unleashed a reign of terror in the construction industry. His response has been to absolve himself from any responsibility and instead tout imaginary arrests to mislead the public.

The Executive Ethics Code enjoins members of the Executive to perform their duties honestly, in good faith and in the interests of good governance. Most importantly, they must ‘act in all respects in a manner that is consistent with the integrity of their office or the government’. The Code makes it clear that members of the Executive should not wilfully mislead or act in a way that is inconsistent with their position.

By deliberately going out of his way to make false claims about 200 construction mafia arrests, Zikalala has not been honest and neither has he acted in good faith or acted in a manner that is consistent with the integrity of the office that he holds. Zikalala is in serious breach of the Code and the Executive Members’ Ethics Act that underpins it, a violation that falls under the purview of the Public Protector and should be investigated for possible sanction.

While Zikalala is busy being economical with the truth, the City of Cape Town – under Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis, has taken proactive steps to deal with construction mafia menace. Last week, the Mayor launched a 24-hour hotline to report extortion tackle crimes related to construction projects in the city. The hotline functions on a reward system to encourage residents to help authorities tackle extortion.

Instead of folding and trying to appease criminals in the construction mafia syndicates, like what the ANC is doing in KZN, the DA is the only party that has taken a firm stand against the growing culture of impunity against organised crime in areas where we govern. The DA is a party of the rule of law and we will not allow our governments to be held to ransom by criminals who have been enabled by an ANC government paralysed with criminal capture.