News24

Public works was 'run like a cash cow'

2011-09-22 12:32

Johannesburg - The department of public works used to be run like a "cash cow", Public Works Minister Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde said in Sandton on Thursday.

"Contracts are given to people who don't even have a clue what they are supposed to do," she told delegates at the Engineering Council of SA's summit.

The number of bridges and roads falling apart were a direct attack on engineering, she said. She asked delegates to give her the names of six engineers she could present to President Jacob Zuma.

Zuma announced recently that South Africa would have an infrastructure commission and engineers such as those gathered at the conference were needed "yesterday" to help the government.

She did not refer specifically to a finding by the public protector that she was accountable, along with national police commissioner General Bheki Cele, for two multi-million rand leases for police buildings allegedly unlawfully agreed to with businessman Roux Shabangu.

Thieves and thugs

She said the Special Investigating Unit did a random check on the department in Gauteng and found all 41 leases they checked were not compliant.

"It's a shame. I am paying for buildings that are falling apart. Many are not being used, or maintained. They are just empty," she said.

Renovations to Zuma's official residence were recently quoted at R135m.

"I don't even think Michael Jackson could use that kind of money," she said.

Mahlangu-Nkabinde had asked for a check to be done, and her people came back to her with the conclusion: "If we can reach R15m it will be too much.

"There are unscrupulous people who just want to take money that is meant for South Africans into their pockets. I need you. We have allowed thieves and thugs to run our country."

She did not know how much longer she would be in her job, and joked about her "big mouth", but she would not keep quiet just because she was a minister.

"I don't know how long I'm going to stay. Even if it is three months it will be [three months of] good decisions."

The government intends cancelling the police building lease agreement through a court application filed recently.

The department had also instituted audits of tenders.

Mahlangu-Nkabinde was appointed 10 months ago.
 

Comments
  • Marcus Daily - 2011-09-22 12:38

    Oh come on woman! You lying cause we can all see your lips moving! Now shifting the blame on others! But come next elections, people will still vote ANC!! Jeppers!!

      Smart Man - 2011-09-22 13:49

      who said ANC is corrupt, ANC wins elections because it's the best political party. go and vote your Inkatha and DA, i am winning annyway, i always win

      JMan - 2011-09-22 14:05

      @ "Smart" Man - you spelled 'blind' wrong....in your name.

      AMS-Dammer - 2011-09-22 14:11

      "MY TURN AT THE FEEDING TROUGH"!!!!!!!!!!!!! ROFLMAO!!!!!!

      Together - 2011-09-22 14:23

      really easy to make a new minister the "fall-guy" - how much of this nonsense was already in the pipeline before she got there? And maybe they chose her because they thought she'd play ball and not do her job - looks like they were wrong.

  • Swart_Baas - 2011-09-22 12:41

    the biggest thugs and thieves I see mentioned on Thuli's report are Mahlangu-Nkabinde, Beki Cela and Roux Shabangu...not sure if the minister read the same report though!

      Together - 2011-09-22 14:18

      um, really easy to make a new minister the "fall-guy" - how much of this nonsense was already in the pipeline before she got there? And maybe they chose her because they thought she'd play ball and not do her job - looks like they were wrong.

  • CHIPPER_CHAP - 2011-09-22 12:42

    its was not me, it was not me tralala . pathetic cow.

  • Currie_Mafia - 2011-09-22 12:43

    The rot is in the Dept of Public Works. Top ranking officials know too little. They're just happy with the envelope under the desk.

  • Proudly SA - 2011-09-22 12:51

    Of course one of biggest thieves and thugs is a certain company in Limpopo that is dishing out the contracts and been paid for doing this job by Local Government and then requiring tenderers to pay them a fee to receive tender - sounds like a brilliant business model!! Thankfully been identified and trust whole company will be shut down and Directors / Shareholders thrown in jail for a long time including the specific shareholder who is using these stolen funds to built a mansion in Sandton with a bunker; time to put a stop to this disgusting status quo and funds must be given to Public Protector to complete investigations and prosecutions to continue.

      DW - 2011-09-22 14:03

      Shareholders dont go to jail for fraud in the company. He has to be a director to be held accountable

      Together - 2011-09-22 14:19

      What do you think the whole freedom song ruckus is supposed to be covering up? But the truth seems to be coming out anyway..

  • Michael - 2011-09-22 12:53

    Gwen, You should join "DA". Your brain is to good to be wasted by the "ANC"

      GTA_Lad - 2011-09-22 15:31

      Are you thick man? You think she's clean cos she's making the right noises? She needs to respond to the public protectors report properly first. God, how blind are you people?

  • pietdrivers - 2011-09-22 13:00

    Bet you these thieves and thugs are all ANC voters

  • JanSlim - 2011-09-22 13:03

    Suspect you guys are shooting off the hip, think she has been setup as the fall guy, just look at the timeline! The more I hear this woman speak the more I like her, but I suspect she is right, the cadres will have to take her out, she has exposed some major corruption with a whole lot more to come ... Just wish we had a lot more of her kind in government! Gwen you give me hope! You go, you got my support!

  • euro-african - 2011-09-22 13:04

    Our brilliant Public Protector Adv Thuli Madonsela was right on the money. I would like to take this opportunity in congratulating her on a job well done. We need more people like you to root out corruption in government. Please continue with the good work. You should have no fear or favour for anyone, be it ANC, IFP, DA, ACDP or etc. We the public are behind you.

  • braamc - 2011-09-22 13:08

    Don't believe this fat thieving bitch, she signed the Police HQ lease agreements

      Thamie_Durba - 2011-09-22 13:51

      I listened to her on SAFM this morning. The leases were signed before she took over. Apparently she replied to Madonsela with all the info, but she claimed she had not. She says that Madonsela has apologised to her but has not gone to the media with this info. Is Madonsela trying to play the Media Hero here. The media has said zip about this morning's interview. Makes you wonder?

      GT - 2011-09-22 14:09

      It does make you wonder. The former head of public works was kicked out for blocking the leases. Lady Gwen was appointed and restarted them... only to be found out. My guess is that she had orders from higher up the chain... and we know where that it.

  • Spade - 2011-09-22 13:09

    We all had high hopes when the ANC led South Africa away from Apartheid. We believed corruption and self-serving politicians were a thing of the past. 17 years on, it is now apparent nothing has changed. South Africans have simply swapped one set of corrupt officials for another. Now that it has been exposed, who will take responsibility for this failure?

  • York Hunt - 2011-09-22 13:09

    In other words... the fraud story of Gwen, Roux and Bheki will just go away...

  • kanditerger - 2011-09-22 13:10

    Does she think we are stupid? What 'big mouth' is she talking about? Hers? What has she said before? And the reference "There are unscrupulous people who just want to take money that is meant for South Africans into their pockets. ... We have allowed thieves and thugs to run our country." Buh??? Is she not the minister? Who is she now blaming?

  • KarooOstrich - 2011-09-22 13:12

    I'll take my hat off to her if she DOES something + really cleans up that dept. But my first question is - where is (was) the control in the first place? It's mindboggling to think that fraud, corruption + mismanagement could have taken place to this extent before being exposed. One of the things that worries me the most is the lack of control + security over the spending of taxpayers money. Very worrying!!

  • Waheed - 2011-09-22 13:15

    They are imploding. Everyone is blaming everyone because everyone is guilty! Scary stuff!

      Crunchiessss - 2011-09-22 13:34

      Shocking statement Waheed. I agree 100%

  • laurie - 2011-09-22 13:16

    Well I'm shocked and surprised.........

  • JR - 2011-09-22 13:16

    Keep going, you have my support and vote on that issue. Time to nail these criminals that are looting our country for self enrichment.

  • IC1 - 2011-09-22 13:25

    @ Moderator: Hahahah you becoming quite commical with you idea of sensoreship LOL

  • Given - 2011-09-22 13:26

    A government without dodgy deals is not a true one

      Kevin King - 2011-09-22 15:44

      @ Government that makes promises to its people then gives the people up the A hole is the ANC!

  • Verdade - 2011-09-22 13:26

    Mahlangu-Nkabinde your are an idiot + retard!!! If you knew about it, why only telling us now, you are guilty hippo! You are joke and so is the political party that gave you the job! Again, don't worry Madame corrupt M/Nkabinde nothing will happen to you, as it is totally acceptable to be corrupt whilst in government!

      nowinlondon - 2011-09-22 14:14

      Not just acceptable, expected!

  • RickyC - 2011-09-22 13:32

    Er Gwen Michael Jackson is dead

      Spade - 2011-09-22 15:20

      You're bad...

  • Bryan - 2011-09-22 13:33

    Stick to your guns.Bravery in the face of fire will overcome weakness

  • Sharkie - 2011-09-22 13:37

    Contracts are given to people who don't even have a clue what they are supposed to do," Noooooo........ really? I, for one, am so so shocked?!

      Boerseun - 2011-09-22 15:06

      Some sommer become president...what a joke?

      RowRobCk - 2011-09-22 21:06

      Agree Freeze all leases to find out who,s benefiting and implement a spook hunt for all the bad ones that have been agreed to I think gov is paying out money for members equity portfolios to be expanded then get a private investigator to report to the people and recoup .

  • GypseyAnn - 2011-09-22 13:37

    Amazing that this story is now coming out. Looks like it was all hunky-dory when no-one knew and they could continue the corruption. People should be brought to book as well as those who have been shielding them!

  • AndV - 2011-09-22 13:40

    You are part of this and continue where others before you were!

  • (YNPL) Youth in need of a proper leader - 2011-09-22 13:54

    It would be nice if N24 displayed the names of the news writers. Oh and the edditors. Unbelivable writing skills!

  • Thamie_Durba - 2011-09-22 13:54

    The story is apparently not new. I listened to the Minister on SAFM this morning. The leases were signed before she took over. Apparently she replied to Madonsela with all the info, but she claimed she had not. She says that Madonsela has apologised to her but has not gone to the media with this info. Is Madonsela trying to play the Media Hero here. The media has said zip about this morning's interview. Makes you wonder?

      Together - 2011-09-22 14:21

      Don't lose focus - Madonsela is not anyone's problem - the people who set up the Minister and got cought out by Madonsela are the real problem.

  • GT - 2011-09-22 14:05

    You mean like Julius whose engineering company does not have an engineer or even a wheelbarrow.

  • sipholess - 2011-09-22 14:05

    Once the info bill has been voted In (just a matter of time).....This women would go to jail for comments like this....How scary is that !!!!!

      Together - 2011-09-22 14:21

      Exactly - which is why everyone was in such a hurry, I guess.

  • nowinlondon - 2011-09-22 14:13

    She is obviously right. But what will happen? Nothing! There is a well developed net of 'friends' and 'friends of friends' everywhere in the current government which will ensure nothing changes. Cancer can be cured if you treat it early in its development. If you wait, it will kill you, whatever you do. South Africa, sadly is past rescuing!

  • GT - 2011-09-22 14:19

    SEND PEOPLE TO JAIL!!! Good grief, pull your finger out you butt and get them arressted, regards of whop their wives or husbands are. Regardless of what they give to the PARTY. THere is going to be NO MORE COUNTRY if they are left to do this to South Africa!

  • BloodRiver - 2011-09-22 14:19

    Do blacks have a corruption gene or something?

      Together - 2011-09-22 14:25

      I don't know - maybe the same gene as Mafia (Russian, Corsican and Italian), corrupt Nats back in the day - gee, read a few history books, why don'tcha. It's a human condition, just like the people of all races who step up to fight it.

      BloodRiver - 2011-09-22 14:58

      Comparing the Nats to the ANC serves only to prove your ignorance.

  • Voyager - 2011-09-22 14:49

    This is just too convienient - this woman has been implicated by the Public Protector! One (or both) of them must be lying!?! No more passing the buck - we want heads to roll! Whoever was using the department as a cash cow must be charged if their was wrongdoing and the Minister is obliged to forward any information she has in this regard to the investigators. Phansi cANCer, phansi!!

  • Daan - 2011-09-22 14:54

    And should the "minister" not be the one to keep an eye over the moneys entrusted to her? Cash cow, or just plain cow?

  • Charles - 2011-09-22 15:29

    The Minister is doing what we as citizens have long been waiting for,we are aware that there are thieves in the Government departments but investigations are always prevented.Let the Minister be bold enough to act decisively to eradicate this scourge though she will not be popular to most Leaders but she will appear as the best woman in the country and make us proud of having such a Leader who understands the plight of the poor.

  • Mpho R - 2011-09-22 15:30

    The minister explained herself very well this morning on SAFm. I think that her hands are very clean. The protector need to clarify her findings to the public.

  • Grant Hide - 2011-09-22 15:35

    Milked? Last i heard the well was running dry.

  • Rodge the Dodge - 2011-09-22 15:36

    I expect to see heads roll in this matter(dismissals with recovery of losses). Or will it be years of arbitration and suspension at tax payers expense. Show your metal and put your money where your mouth is. I still want to know why you took so long to respond to the public protector. You could have phoned her and explained your predicament ages ago.

  • Davearch - 2011-09-22 15:57

    Who is in charge ??? YOU ARE !!! FIRE THIS USELESS MINISTER !!

  • StoneAngel - 2011-09-22 16:09

    "There are unscrupulous people who just want to take money that is meant for South Africans into their pockets. I need you. We have allowed thieves and thugs to run our country." Really now Gwen! We on News 24 have been telling this all along - what is new. I presume the 'we' Gwen is referring to is the government - your government Gwen. Gwen we need you to name and shame all these thugs and you need to pressurize your boss Zuma to do something about it. How about firing some of your staff who are allowing these frauds and blatant theft to be carried out - AND NO GOLDEN HANDSHAKES AND NOBODY PUT ON LONG LEAVE - ant attributable theft to be paid back from pensions and accumulated assets.

  • sonny.brilliant - 2011-09-22 17:50

    "Renovations to Zuma's official residence were recently quoted at R135m." why don't you buy him a new on.

  • Cheryl - 2011-10-20 10:01

    another statement pointing out the obvious. call us stupid...this woman is criminal....as rotten as the rest, dont let her fool you.

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