Johannesburg - An outstanding forensic investigation is the reason why Premier David Makhura has yet to lay criminal charges against the former head of Gauteng Arts, Sports, Culture and Recreation, Namhla Siqaza.
Last week, his office announced that she had been dismissed after investigations and disciplinary processes showed she was implicated in irregular expenditure and creating rifts in her department.
On Tuesday, however, the DA said a dismissal wasn't enough. It called on the premier to charge her with corruption, while the DA’s Jack Bloom opened his own criminal case against her.
Siqaza was suspended with full pay in October last year following evidence that she tried to bribe Auditor-General officials to cover up irregular expenditure, particularly a R246 million tender for an archives centre in Kagiso on the West Rand.
At the time, The Star’s sister paper, The Sunday Independent, revealed that the attempted bribe followed after the AG’s office uncovered massive corruption, which involved unexplained expenditure of public funds involving millions of rand.
Some of this included money spent on the Bob van Reenen Stadium and the department’s provincial archives in Krugersdorp.
Earlier this week, Bloom announced that Siqaza was earning R1.4m a year, approved by former premier Nomvula Mokonyane, meaning that, while suspended for more than a year, she received R1.5m.
However, Office of the Premier spokesperson Thabo Masebe said the initial investigations that have been completed reflected only the disciplinary action that should be taken against Siqaza.
He said an independent forensic unit was ironing out two or three aspects of their investigation and a report on whether Siqaza should be criminally charged would probably be completed soon.
Masebe said the unit’s investigation had led to another Gauteng legislature official being charged with corruption for his alleged role in an illegal contract the department granted.
While Masebe couldn't give a time frame for when the follow-up report on Siqaza’s actions would be received, he assured The Star that the premier would be ready to charge her when more information comes to light.