Wednesday, January 30, 2008

South Africa: "Don't Blame Minister For Home Affairs Mess"

'Don't blame minister for home affairs mess'

Cape Town, South Africa
29 January 2008 04:06

Home Affairs Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has done her best to try to bring order and stability into the chaotic Home Affairs Department, MPs heard on Tuesday.

"The political responsibilities have been exercised boldly, and we are working towards an unqualified audit," Deputy Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba told the National Assembly's home affairs committee.

Committee chairperson Patrick Chauke earlier said: "For the past few years there had been this chaos we had to deal with in the department. We are sick and tired of having to deal with the same problems time and again."

Gigaba, who was presenting the department's 2006/07 annual report to the committee, cited the task team and the turnaround experts brought in by Mapisa-Nqakula as some of the interventions she has made to improve the situation.

Chauke said Gigaba and Mapisa-Nqakula should take more responsibility and account to the committee on many of the department's weaknesses. He said it is unacceptable that the department has been regularly getting qualified audits from the Auditor General.

Gigaba and Mapisa-Nqakula should brief the committee on what they have done to prevent poor financial management at the department, he said.

Gigaba said it would be incorrect to expect the department's political leadership to interfere directly with its management, as that is the responsibility of the director general.

He said current Home Affairs Director General Mavuso Msimang is taking care of many of the managerial issues, including the suspension of chief financial officer Pat Kambule on charges of financial mismanagement.

The political leadership has to allow the disciplinary process to reach its conclusion and "not act like inexperienced hotheads".

Gigaba said he and Mapisa-Nqakula are also concerned about the department's failure to deliver. The department is currently introducing new systems and qualified people are being hired, he added.

"We have also realised that the absence of financial skills and systems had made it easier for corruption to take place," he said.

Briefing the media earlier on Tuesday, Msimang said it is unfair for people to blame him for the current problems in the department, as he has been in the job for less than a year.

He said he is confident that the department will not get another negative audit in the 2007/08 financial year. -- Sapa

PRETORIA 28 January 2008 Sapa


Tributes continue to pour in for SA Democratic Teachers Union deputy secretary general Don Pasquallie who died in a car accident in the Western Cape on Sunday.

In a statement issued on Monday, Education Minister Naledi Pandor expressed her sadness at the 41-year-old's death.

"He was a highly respected unionist and leader, whose career spanned the most important years of transformation in our education system.

"I was fortunate enough to have met and worked with him. I send my sincerest condolences to his family," said Pandor.

Police spokesman Superintendent Billy Jones said the accident
happened on Sarel Cilliers street in Napier.

"Allegedly the driver of a double cab lost control and veered off the road. The vehicle was found lying on its roof with five passengers inside including Pasquallie, his brother and three friends," said Jones.

The SA Communist Party said it had learnt with "great sadness and shock" of Pasquallie's death.

"As a true communist. He had served the trade union movement with dedication and commitment. He was dedicated to the radical transformation of the South African education system and was an ardent and committed fighter for educators' rights," said SACP spokesman Malesela Maleka.

The SACP said it would miss Pasquallie who served on the Western Cape provincial executive committee of the SACP since 1998.

"We will sorely miss the role of Pasquallie in our party structures and programmes in that province.

"We extend our heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and colleagues," said Maleka.

No comments: