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Johannesburg - The North West standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) has welcomed Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's report into irregular spending by the provincial finance department.
“It is based on the mandate we had given to the Chapter Nine institutions to help investigate the claims,” Scopa chairman Hlomane Chauke said on Thursday.
“This matter will not end here, things that need to be referred to police will be,” he said in a statement.
Madonsela found that the North West finance department irregularly spent R15 million on legal services for the disciplinary inquiries of three officials.
“This effectively meant the department spent R5 million in respect of each of the three officials' disciplinary hearings,” Madonsela said in a statement.
She was releasing a report on her investigation into allegations of maladministration, abuse of power and irregular expenditure in the appointment of Morake Inc as a service provider for the department.
Madonsela handed the report to Scopa on Thursday and called for the recovery of all the funds unnecessarily spent by the department.
She said the amounts charged were unconscionable and that the services which resulted in the expenditure were not properly procured.
She found the procurement process flawed, unlawful and in violation of the constitution and the National Treasury regulations.
Madonsela recommended that disciplinary action be taken against all the officials involved in the procurement process.
Chauke said North West speaker Supra Mahumapelo and premier Thandi Modise would receive a copy of the report and it would be tabled in the provincial legislature.
“All recommendations made by the Public Protector will be implemented to the letter,” Chauke said.
Democratic Alliance North West leader Chris Hattingh said the party supported Madonsela's recommendations, which included disciplinary action against officials.
“Advocate Madonsela emphasised her concerns that in a country where 51 percent of people are living below the poverty line and 39 million are dependent on grants, public funds could be wasted on such a scale as in this case,” Hattingh said.