DA vows to explore posts

2018-08-15 06:00
At a briefing on the Kimberley Diamond Cup on Monday (13/08) are Andrew Louw (DA provincial leader) and Boitumelo Babuseng (provincial spokesperson for Economic Development).Photo: Boipelo Mere

At a briefing on the Kimberley Diamond Cup on Monday (13/08) are Andrew Louw (DA provincial leader) and Boitumelo Babuseng (provincial spokesperson for Economic Development).Photo: Boipelo Mere

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The DA in the Northern Cape vows to explore the allegations made on Facebook about the wrongdoing and downright criminal conduct around the running of the Kimberley Diamond Cup.

The ongoing posts have raised eyebrows and concerns in terms of attracting more investments to the Northern Cape.

Posted on the African Skate Project Facebook page since the beginning of August, the posts revealed names of officials at the Northern Cape provincial government.

It painted an alarming picture of corrupt practices and attempts at extortion that implicates several officials and public representatives, specifically at the Northern Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDaT) and the Northern Cape Tourism Authority.

In what is titled “How corruption in the Northern Cape killed skateboarding: The not so magnificent 7”, the DA revealed that it has engaged the publisher of the post for partnership to open criminal charges against those implicated.

During a press briefing on Monday (13/08) the DA called for the removal of Mac Jack, the Northern Cape MEC for the Department of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism.

The briefing was shared by DA provincial leader Andrew Louw and provincial spokesperson for Economic Development Boitumelo Babuseng.

They want Premier Sylvia Lucas to fire Jack for his mismanagement of public funds and allegations made on the post, reportedly by Tim McFerran (African Skate Project).

They alleged how exorbitant amounts were spent on travel expenses for bloated delegations from the Northern Cape to attend planning meetings overseas, where very little work would get done as many of the delegates were either drinking or going on a shopping spree to New York.

The DA urged the premier to start a comprehensive internal investigation to ensure that those who abused the public funds are brought to book. They further want the terms of reference and results of such an investigation to be made public.

In 2016 the scale of the Diamond Cup event was reduced, reportedly due to financial constraints and a lack of sponsorship.

Zandisile Luphahla, the media liaison officer of DEDaT, said the budget for the event was cut due to a national policy by the then Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan, and not due to the McFerran allegations.

The post revealed that the move was motivated by spitefulness due to his refusal to pay bribes.

Luphahla said they were made aware of the posts by the media and regarded it as pettiness and McFerran being disgruntled.

According to him, the Northern Cape government has a pending case against McFerran with regard to his side of the deal not having being delivered.

He revealed that the agreement was that local companies should also be empo­wered in terms of transferring skills by McFerran, but that has not being adhered to.

“He is plain disgruntled as both our legal teams have been engaging in a long legal process in a case that is sub-judice,” said Luphahla.

He levelled the danger of the post in damaging reputations and dragging the names of individuals through the mud, including the department.

“We will however allow those implicated to proceed with legal action and provide emotional support,” he added.

With regard to the DA’s announcement that McFerran has agreed to come to South Africa to testify in the allegations of fraud, he said the province will welcome him with open arms.

“Let him come, we are waiting for him. It is very important that he comes back. He must be sure to name the specific date and time so we can meet him at the airport and throw him a welcome party.”

  • By the time of going to print, Express NC did not receive any comment from the premier’s office.

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