Scopa decries private company preventing Parliament from doing its work

2017-06-15 21:36
Scopa Chairperson Themba Godi (Netwerk24)

Scopa Chairperson Themba Godi (Netwerk24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - MPs from both the African National Congress and Democratic Alliance serving on the standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) decried that a court order by a private company prevented Parliament from doing its work.

On Wednesday evening, the commissioner of correctional services, his management team and Justice and Correctional Services Minister Advocate Michael Masutha appeared before Scopa to address irregular expenditure of R494m accumulated from the 2011/2012 financial year.

Included in the R494m was a controversial contract with Integritron for an integrated inmate management system (IIMS).

News24 reported in 2016 how Modise defied requests, by National Treasury's chief procurement officer, to review the processes followed in awarding a contract for this system to Integritron Integrated Solutions.

National Treasury instructed Modise to cancel the contract. Any fruitless and wasteful expenditure incurred through cancelling the contract should be recovered from Modise personally, it said.

Court interdict

The Auditor-General has since found several irregularities with the contract.

In 2016, Integritron got a court interdict preventing Masutha from publicly speaking about or acting on the Treasury report. Its lawyers on Tuesday sent Scopa a letter to "urge that the matter not be debated in an open forum".

Scopa proceeded nonetheless.

Chairperson Themba Godi said they would not deal with the Treasury report.

"There is no way Parliament must be squeezed in fulfilling its role," ANC whip in Scopa Nyami Booi said on Wednesday night. "The officers in front of us are paid by the state; [there's] no way Parliament can be told not to hold them to account."

DA MP Tim Brauteseth described it as an "egregious breach of Parliament's work" and said the department is "completely offside.

"I just need to make it absolutely clear: This matter will not go away. I find it remarkable that a supplier to government is thwarting the work of Parliament."

On Thursday, Booi released a press statement on behalf of the ANC members of Scopa, expressing their concern with the lack of proper financial management and accountability in the department of correctional services.

Department 'bankrupt'

"The most disappointing development from this hearing was our inability as parliamentarians to properly probe the financials of the department as we were informed of an interdict against the minister and department on a matter relating to a tender to a private company," reads Booi's statement.

"Such developments affect Parliament's ability to conduct proper oversight. We look forward to the speedy resolution of this legal matter in order to ensure that those found to have been involved in any wrongdoing are held accountable."

He also expressed his concern at the "alarming number of accruals" that have skyrocketed to the amount of R134m to suppliers and "that the department appears to be bankrupt.

"The Auditor-General (AG) has in the past raised serious concerns about the financial state of the department, which in our view appears to have been ignored with no attempt at putting in place corrective measures."

He was not satisfied with the information the department presented to Scopa on their investigations into the irregular expenditure.

"The commissioner, Mr Zach Modise, also seems to have ignored concerns raised by the Presidency in a letter that was addressed to the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) on issues relating to the department," said Booi.

"The ongoing mismanagement, lack of accountability and possible corruption at the DCS are quite disturbing. We, therefore, reiterate our call that the minister of justice and correctional services comrade Michael Masutha act against the Commissioner and his officials."

When questioned by Brauteseth, Modise could not explain why his car was seen parked outside the house of one Integritron's shareholders, Geoff Greyling. Modise admitted to knowing Greyling, but denied that they are friends or did business together.

 

Read more on:    parliament  |  da  |  anc  |  cape town

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
Watch: Investing in the future through child development

An investment of R32-million into 11 early childhood development centres is changing the future for children in the Northern Cape.

Partner Content
What all investors should know about index investing

Index-linked investments are growing fast in popularity globally, and are growing in size and complexity too.

/World
 

For the love of Corgis!

WATCH: 35 Corgi's to make your day! If they’re good enough for the Queen of England they’re good enough for us.

 
 

Paws

Can we communicate with our pets?
8 great natural remedies for your pet
Buying a puppy? Don’t get scammed!
WATCH: These funny animal videos will make you LOL!
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.