Johannesburg - Although Premier David Makhura dismissed the former head of Gauteng Arts, Sports, Culture and Recreation Namhla Siqaza, she will face criminal charges for alleged corruption.

Meanwhile, the DA has criticised the department for paying her R1.5 million during her suspension.

Siqaza was suspended with full pay in October last year after allegedly trying to bribe Auditor-General officials to cover up irregular expenditure, particularly a R246m tender for an archives centre in Kagiso on the West Rand.

The attempted bribe followed after the AG’s office uncovered massive corruption, which involves unexplained expenditure of public funds involving millions of rand.

Some of the money was spent on the Bob van Reenen Stadium and the department’s provincial archives in Krugersdorp.

However, now that Siqaza has been dismissed, the DA’s Jack Bloom said that through a parliamentary written reply, it was revealed she was earning R1.4m a year, approved by former premier Nomvula Mokonyane.

“According to Makhura, her salary level was initially set at level 15. However, in light of the enormous responsibility of the department, ‘it was decided by the executive authority that the post be remunerated at level 16’,” said Bloom.

“Ms Siqaza was clearly an overpaid political appointment as there is no justification for extra annual pay of more than R200 000 for a small department with a small budget,” he added.

Bloom laid criminal charges against Siqaza and two other officials two weeks ago at Norwood police station concerning the alleged attempted bribery, and challenged Makhura to also lay criminal charges.

Despite queries sent to the Premier’s Office on Monday, there was no reply on whether any charges would be instituted.

The Star