Protector blames Shiceka for delays

2011-09-15 18:58

Cape Town - Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has blamed Co-operative Governance Minister Sicelo Shiceka for delays in her probe into his alleged misuse of funds, but said a provisional report would be ready next week.

In a statement on Thursday, she rejected Shiceka's complaints that she was dragging her feet on the investigation, and that this prevented him from returning to work.

"The public protector refutes these allegations and would like to put on record circumstances that have led to the delay in finalising this investigation, which, in terms of the Executive Members' Ethics Act should have been concluded within 30 days."

Madonsela said the minister had been unco-operative to the point where she asked President Jacob Zuma to intervene.

She provided a detailed account of her difficulty in obtaining information from the minister, who has been on sick leave since February and is alleged to have misused around R1m in state funds.

Madonsela said she informed Shiceka of the investigation at the end of April and requested information from him. He asked for an extension until the end of May, but finally responded on June 10.

In August, she requested an interview with the minister, but this was declined because of his health.

"On August 3 2011, an unsigned letter was received in response to the public protector's request ostensibly on behalf of Mr Shiceka, notifying her that Mr Shiceka was on sick leave and was not in a position to meet her until he was declared medically fit to resume duties by a registered medical practitioner.

"This is despite information provided to the public protector... by witnesses who gave an impression that Mr Shiceka's health had apparently improved."

Madonsela said she then told Zuma of the "challenges that she was facing in concluding her report, particularly the unavailability of the minister".

On August 12, The Sowetan quoted Shiceka's spokesman as saying the minister was able to return to work and complaining that the probe was lagging.

Madonsela said she then contacted Shiceka directly and asked for an interview.

But she was again told that he "remained on sick leave until directed by the president and a medical practitioner to return to work".

He also asked to be given a provisional report of her findings. Madonsela declined, saying she lacked the necessary information to compile the report, and sent him written questions, to which his advisory team responded on August 31.

She said further information came to light while she was compiling her provisional report, which she would present to Zuma and Shiceka next week.

Shiceka on Wednesday told Eyewitness News that he was in good health and had been travelling and playing tennis.

He said he was ready to return to work, but could not do so until the public protector had completed her investigation.

Presidency spokesman Mac Maharaj confirmed Zuma would not decide Shiceka's fate before the investigation was completed.

"We need that to be completed, otherwise the situation is untenable," he said.

Shiceka is alleged to have spent R355 000 to visit a girlfriend in a Swiss jail, R640 000 to stay in a luxury hotel in Cape Town, and more than R160 000 on plane tickets for his family.

  • Pencilgraffiti - 2011-09-15 19:14

    So the President knew about this but still did not just fire him...? Nevermind that he misused state funds, the fact that he acts like a child should mean THAT YOU CAN'T BE A MINSTER!!! Can our government please grow the hell up... For F's sake. You really do behave like a 13 year old girl who hasn't gotten her allowance cause she hasn't done her chores but she wants to go to the mall... And i blame Zuma because he is ultimately responsible for their behaviour.

      Sedick - 2011-09-15 19:50

      If it wasn't just another abuse of taxpayers money I would say it was funny. Zuma says that he cannot act against Shitsika because he is waiting for the PP report - Not saying that he knows that Shitseka is refusing to co-operate. Shitseka in the meantime says that he is sick, and waiting for the UNpresident/Medical Prac to instruct him to get back to work. AND, to pass time, he is playing tennis.....@SSSSSHssssssssss

      PB - 2011-09-16 08:02

      Evidently his department carried on as effectively (or as badly) as it did before he went on his extended holiday, so it should make no difference if he never went back. With the ANC's track record, he will be given a hero's welcome back into the fold, with the accompanying promotion that always goes with bad behaviour. I wonder (NOT) who has been paying for all these overseas trips he's fitted in while he has been so incredibly 'sick'? HE SHOULD BE CRIMINALLY PROSECUTED FOR THE WHOLE SHEBANG.

  • Koos Poggenpoel - 2011-09-15 19:19

    "She provided a detailed account of her difficulty in obtaining information from the minister, who has been on sick leave since February and is alleged to have misused around R1m in state funds." close to 8 months on sick leave - Fire this leach's ass. Go Thuli, give 'em hell!

  • leonard - 2011-09-15 19:31

    Please all,DO NOT ANSWER overprivileged,he posts under various names and is pulling your chain.Also, note his style of writing and use of English,this is an educated white man.H E Y H A R R I S

  • Warren - 2011-09-15 19:38

    Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has blamed Co-operative Governance Minister Sicelo Shiceka for being... UNCO-OPERATIVE. Lol. The one & only reason Shiceka desperately wants to get back to work is to continue his billionaire lifestyle. (& this will happen, no doubt).

      leonard - 2011-09-15 20:01

      @ Warren. The really sad part in all of this is that the troll has been paid all this time.What further proof of thievery does the makulu boss need in order to fire him?But then again,I never expected anything different to happen.

      Warren - 2011-09-15 22:25

      Just read this on Volsblad's web page: Volksblad het na die onderhoud op die webblad geluister waarin Shiceka gesê het hy voel “baie, baie goed”. “Ek het die afgelope ruk dikwels na ander lande gereis en ek gaan voor die einde van die maand Egipte toe,” het Shiceka gesê. Amazing how News 24 misses the best parts when it comes to the cANCer.

  • Shivaskar - 2011-09-15 20:01

    These thieves use every excuse to prolong the investigations. ANC are comprised of farking dum preeks who need a bullet between the eyes, not an investigation. Or AIDS will take them, whichever is the quicker.

  • beicime - 2011-09-15 20:04

    Self incrimination is not desirable.

  • JadedJay - 2011-09-15 21:02

    I hope he REALLY gets sick...

  • sushi - 2011-09-16 08:48

    how will she complete her investigation while shiceka is not co operating with her,showerhead are you still applying your mind still on this president are free or are you dom?just fire the bastard and recover the taxpayers money.

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