Shiceka ‘using delaying tactics’

2011-10-15 19:26

Senior ANC members say Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Minister Sicelo Shiceka is using delaying tactics to stall his possible dismissal following the damning public protector’s report on his conduct.

Sources in the ANC parliamentary caucus said yesterday his threat to take the matter to court was a tactic to make it difficult for President Jacob Zuma to give him the boot.

On Friday Public Protector Thuli Madonsela released a report finding Shiceka guilty of maladministration and abuse of public funds. She also said he misled Zuma.

One caucus member said: “If it is really true what the public protector is saying, it is very embarrassing for the organisation and the president has little choice in the matter.

“He knows the president will follow processes,” a source said.

He said the caucus trusts the public protector’s report.

“The Public Protector will do much better than the media in investigating this,” he said.

Zuma granted Shiceka sick leave on February 24, and he has not returned to work since.

Presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj said Zuma welcomed the filing of the public protector’s report, adding he hoped it would “help prevent the misuse of public funds and strengthen good governance”.

He said Zuma would need to study the report before considering action.

However, Parliamentarians vented their fury at Madonsela, saying she chose to address the media instead of presenting her report to a justice portfolio committee meeting on Friday.

She insists she simply got the time wrong.

Committee chairperson and ANC MP Luwellyn Landers said the committee might have to consider amending legislation to make Madonsela, whom he accused of failing to show up for a meeting on Friday, more accountable.

“One of the things we will have to look at is the anomaly we have created by allowing that office to issue reports as and when it sees fit.
“The committee feels that this is inappropriate. If she has to account, her report must come to us (first),” he said.

Cosatu boss Zwelinzima Vavi says Shiceka should be sacked if he refuses to resign.

Shiceka has rejected Madonsela’s findings as “baseless and lacking in evidence”, saying he would “challenge the matter in court”.

Momelezi Kula, the public protector’s executive manager for public outreach, said Madonsela welcomed Shiceka’s decision to challenge her findings in court.

– Additional reporting by Mandy Rossouw

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