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Millions paid to Eastern Cape Social Development officials to stay at home while under investigation

Nov 29, 2018
Millions paid to Eastern Cape Social Development officials to stay at home while under investigation

The Eastern Cape Department of Social Development has paid out close on R5,2 million in salaries to 34 suspended officials facing charges of, among others, corruption and financial mismanagement, the Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Eastern Cape revealed on Thursday.

"Eight of these officials, who have already cost the Department close on R1 million, are still sitting at home, drawing salaries, while waiting for their appeals against their dismissals to be finalised," described Kobus Botha (MPL), DA Eastern Cape Shadow MEC for Social Development.

"In response to a parliamentary question, Department of Social Development MEC, Dr Pumza Dyantyi, confirmed that the pay-outs were made to officials who had been placed on paid leave pending the outcome of investigations between 2015 and 2018."

he added that reviewing the breakdown provided, reveals that:

  • In 2015 R 1,13 million was paid out to two officials, before they were dismissed;
  • In 2016 no officials were suspended on paid leave;
  • In 2017 R2,25 million was paid out to 17 officials;
  • In 2018 R871 000 was paid out to seven officials whose cases had been finalised and;
  • a further R949 000 has been paid so far to eight officials still awaiting the outcome of their appeals against their dismissals.

"Dyantyi revealed that in 18 cases the appeals authority had dismissed the appeal, and in a further 11 cases, officials were still waiting for their appeals to be finalised.

"Of the five remaining cases, two officials had been dismissed, one had the charges withdrawn, one had their provisional suspension uplifted, and one died while waiting for their appeal to be finalised," Botha said.

Eastern Cape Social Development lacks capacity to quickly conclude disciplinary processes

He said that it is clear from these figures, that the Department lacks effectiveness when it comes to investigations and the disciplinary processes need to drastically improved.

"A competent investigator must be assigned immediately to ensure that these investigations and disciplinary hearings can be finalised."

He added that the DA believes money meant for providing social welfare services to the most vulnerable and poor in the province, should be spent on those services "and not on rewarding corrupt officials with extended paid leave while investigations into their alleged wrongdoing is dragged out".

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