Nkandla scapegoats fight back

2014-09-28 06:30

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The fightback campaign by 10 public works officials taking the fall for the R246?million spent on upgrades to President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla home begins tomorrow.

City Press understands that the officials will plead not guilty when their hearings kick off tomorrow.

They face a raft of charges, finalised just this week, ranging from financial misconduct and allowing irregular expenditure or fruitless and wasteful expenditure to occur, to prejudicing the administration of the department and misconduct for failing to ensure contractors were appointed in a fair, equitable, transparent, competitive and cost-effective manner.

The officials, who occupy senior positions, also face charges for contravening the public service’s code of conduct.

But five of them, who spoke to City Press on condition of anonymity, say they are nothing more than scapegoats made to take the fall for their political bosses – former public works minister Geoff Doidge and his former deputy Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu.

“The only thing that is left for us is to grow goatees and horns, and we will be the perfect scapegoats for them. If ministers were also charged for applying the pressure on us to cut corners, leading to us not following the law, then we would understand.

But to blame officials who were scared to put a foot wrong is abominable,” said one official.

» Get City Press newspaper for the full story.

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