Another top Dirco official suspended as dept investigates botched R118m New York land deal

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Naledi Pandor.
Naledi Pandor.
Daily Sun
  • Department of International Relations and Cooperation chief financial officer Caiphus Ramashau has been suspended. 
  • This is in connection with a botched R118 million land deal in New York. 
  • The DA has welcomed the suspension, but says there were others involved who have not yet been suspended. 

Caiphus Ramashau, the chief financial officer of the Department of International Relations, has been suspended in connection with a R118 million New York deal to buy land which didn’t exist. The Democratic Alliance has welcomed his suspension.

News about the suspension surfaced this week, after the director-general, Kgabo Mahoai, was suspended last month in connection with the deal.

DA MP and spokesperson on international relations, Mergan Chetty, said he had asked questions after Ramashau was not at a portfolio committee meeting this week, and was subsequently told about the precautionary suspension "after much reluctance by officials". 

READ | 'A national embarrassment' - Naledi Pandor on Dirco's botched multimillion-rand New York project

Chetty said the party still had serious concerns about other senior officials implicated in the project who had not been suspended.

"It has now emerged that the department has engaged to sublease office space for our missions in New York, and the very roleplayers implicated in the R118 million shenanigans are also at the centre of this new deal," he said in a statement on Sunday.

"This is a recipe for disaster, and we brought this to [International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor's] attention."

The party previously said Mahoai's suspension was "a smokescreen to protect other senior officials closely linked to senior politicians".

Chetty said he had written to President Cyril Ramaphosa to request the suspension of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, as well as of ambassador Jerry Matjila, who was director-general at the time the deal was initiated.

Matjila has, however, recently retired after serving as South Africa's ambassador to the United Nations for four years.

Pandor said in Parliament earlier this month that the department was making efforts to recover the money through a review of the tender in the high court.

Department spokesperson Lunga Ngqengelele could not be contacted for comment.

Did you know you can comment on this article? Subscribe to News24 and add your voice to the conversation.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Nappies, they cost too much
7% - 266 votes
Formula and food, it's getting so expensive
18% - 717 votes
Creche and school fees are a struggle every month
76% - 3082 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
16.01
+0.5%
Rand - Pound
19.80
+0.3%
Rand - Euro
16.80
+0.2%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.21
-0.3%
Rand - Yen
0.12
+0.9%
Gold
1,814.04
-0.2%
Silver
21.42
+0.0%
Palladium
2,028.00
+0.6%
Platinum
931.50
-0.7%
Brent Crude
109.11
-2.6%
Top 40
62,494
0.0%
All Share
69,083
0.0%
Resource 10
71,795
0.0%
Industrial 25
76,804
0.0%
Financial 15
16,026
0.0%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE