The Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) in the North West called for the expulsion of two MECs on Tuesday.
This came after finance MEC Paul Sebegoe and education MEC Louisa Mabe failed to appear before Scopa to address media reports stating the finance department spent R13 million on legal fees for a disciplinary hearing.
The legislature said in a statement the disciplinary hearing concerned suspended department head (HOD) Johannes Mohlala.
Acting HOD Geo Paul reportedly wrote to Mabe asking if she was going to avoid standard practice and appoint a law firm on contract for the hearing, the cost of which was not allowed to exceed R500 000.
However, according to media reports an invoice from the law firm Mabe appointed showed the department paid nearly R2 million for a single invoice, spending R13 million in total.
It was reported that Mabe was the chief witness in the matter.
Scopa wanted Mabe and Sebegoe expelled because they both failed to appear before the committee to explain the matter as requested.
“The two sent apologies but the committee 'rejected them with contempt',” the legislature said.
Scopa chairman Hlomane Chauke said public money could not be spent in that manner, with Sebegoe and Mabe refusing to take responsibility and account for it. He said if media reports were correct, Mabe had acted in bad faith.
“They were given enough time to come and present facts to the committee and they failed to do so,” said Chauke.
“If we do not take action we will see the collapse of accountability in the province.”
Scopa resolved the matter be brought to the attention of premier Thandi Modise. Comment from Sebegoe and Mabe could not be immediately obtained. - Sapa