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Minster De Lille vows to make Beitbridge border fence report public

10 August 2020 1:50 PM
Tags:
Public Works Minister Patricia de Lille
Beitbridge border fence

An investigation into the R37 million fence found several alleged procurements and fraud committed by 14 senior PWD officials.

An investigation into the R37 million Beitbridge border fence found several alleged procurements and other irregularities, and allegations of fraud committed by 14 senior officials, as well as service providers for the project.

On Saturday Minister of Public Works Patricia de Lille announced this should be brought before the Special Investigating Unit (SIU).

Lester Kiewit speaks to Minister De Lille and asks her if the procurement process for the project had been too hurried.

She says no not at all.

The procurement started in March of 2020. I was concerned that while the border fence project was a result of an emergency procurement, due process had to be followed and value for money had to be secure.

Minister Patricia de Lille - Public Works

She says she then requested an investigation by the Auditor-General on 20 April. Furthermore, on 25 April, she asked the Anti-Corruption Unit assisted by the SIU to investigate.

On that same day, I stopped any further payment to the contractor subject to the outcome of the investigation.

Minister Patricia de Lille - Public Works

The investigation has not found any evidence of impropriety on my part or any evidence to suggest that I personally benefitted from this project in any way whatsoever.

Minister Patricia de Lille - Public Works

She says she has made a commitment to release the findings of the investigation to the public.

The 40-kilometre-fence which we were requested to repair and replace, has been broken in about 150 places. We were only requested to do 40 kilometres, but the whole fence is about 700 kilometres.

Minister Patricia de Lille - Public Works

She says the SIU tribunal will be attempting to recoup some of the monies.

How does this 700 kilometre fence protect South Africa from Covid-19, asks Lester?

DE Lille replies that the SANDF identified a 40 kilometre stretch of the fence as key.

They referred to this as 'hotspots' where people normally cross over.

Minister Patricia de Lille - Public Works

She insists she is working very hard to root put corruption in the Department of Public Works suspending the director-general of the department for alleged corruption.

De Lille dismisses those criticising her appointment of the former City of Cape Town former transport executive Melissa Whitehead who herself faced charges of tender corruption as part of the narrative of what she terms 'the blue liars' - her reference to the Democratic Alliance.

If there is any evidence that I broke the laws when appointing her they must please come with the proof. I walked away from the blue liars victoriously with four court cases that I have won.

Minister Patricia de Lille - Public Works

Listen to Minister de Lille below:


10 August 2020 1:50 PM
Tags:
Public Works Minister Patricia de Lille
Beitbridge border fence

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