Shiceka: It’s Tokyo’s poo

2011-05-14 17:59

Embattled Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Sicelo Shiceka has shifted the blame for the open toilets saga onto his Cabinet colleague, Tokyo Sexwale.

Shiceka, who has been on indefinite sick leave since February, told City Press in a telephone interview that he could not be made the “scapegoat” for the debacle as sanitation was the responsibility of Sexwale’s human settlements department.

“He is the person responsible for the matter of sanitation. It has nothing to do with us. When the president came into power in 2009, sanitation was transferred to human settlements,” he said.

He lashed out at Cosatu president Zwelinzima Vavi, who earlier this week called for Shiceka’s head to roll over the open toilets ­scandal.

“Vavi must do his research. It is not our responsibility and you must go to the people who have a role to play. When you give money you have to follow up on the quality and quantity of that which is built with the money you gave,” he said.

City Press exposed the open ­toilets in Rammulotsi township at Viljoenskroon in the ANC-led ­Moqhaka municipality in the Free State in July last year after Shiceka said open toilets were a “Cape Town phenomenon”.

He was referring to the open ­toilets built by the DA in Makhaza, Khayelitsha.

Asked if he had been contacted by the ANC this week regarding the Rammulotsi toilets, Shiceka replied: “It is not my area or ­responsibility. Why would I be contacted? People should go to those responsible (for sanitation).”

Sexwale said the Rammolutsi situation will be investigated and the contract will have to be reviewed with the possibility of terminating it.

“We will be working closely with anyone who is prepared to come forward to ensure that the culprits who caused the fiasco at Makhaza and Rammulotsi are brought to book and blacklisted,” he said.

Residents in Rammulotsi are not impressed by claims by the ANC it was not aware of the open toilets.

When City Press visited Rammulotsi on Wednesday it found the same exposed toilets as were reported on in July 2010.

Paulina Tonyane (74) said the ANC couldn’t claim it didn’t know about the toilets.

“We’ve been reporting it all the time. Now they came yesterday (Tuesday) but they just walked into my yard and looked at the toilet and were just pointing and pointing the whole time. They did not even ask me my name,” she said.

Calls for Mayor Mantebu ­Mokgosi to be axed intensified this week after it became known that a company owned by her husband was awarded a contract to build the toilets.

The Moqhaka municipality defended its mayor from accusations that she had personally benefited from the tenders to erect the open toilets.

Municipal manager Mcedisi Mqwathi said Mokgosi was not a councillor or mayor when the contract was awarded to Danteb Construction, a company owned by herself and her husband, Daniel Mokgosi.

Mqwathi said when Mokgosi became a councillor in 2001 she was no longer involved in any ­Danteb business activities.

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