ANC urges accused official to step down
Johannesburg - Fraud charges against ANC national executive committee member Miriam Segabutla could damage the party’s image and standing on the fight against crime and corruption.
Speaking a day after Segabutla was released on R25 000 bail by the Polokwane Magistrate’s Court, ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu said yesterday that the former MEC for health in Limpopo must be guided by her conscience and stop participating in party leadership activities.
“The allegations against her are damaging and indicative of improper conduct on her part. It is for this reason that the ANC leadership has started to process her matter within its ranks,” Mthembu said.
Segabutla was arrested alongside her associates, businessmen Jonny Lucas and Pieter Erasmus, relating to the alleged R15 million tender fraud. Their case was postponed to July.
The ANC said yesterday that the law must take its cause without fear or favour.
At its Mangaung conference in December, the party resolved that leaders who face serious criminal charges should “on their own volition” relinquish their leadership positions and public offices pending the outcome of the court proceedings.
The ANC recently set up an integrity committee to safeguard the party’s integrity by dealing with leaders facing serious criminal charges.
The Hawks maintain that they will convict Segabutla and her co-accused.
Lucas’s forensic firm, Tsepo Technology Consulting, was paid R8m to investigate the R200m provincial health information system. Trispen Solutions, the firm owned by Erasmus, was paid R7m to probe the alleged procurement negligence and wasteful expenditure amounting to R74m for the purchasing of light switches.
The two forensic tenders had not been advertised for competitive bidding.
Last year, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found that Segabutla had breached the executive ethics code of conduct when she instructed Pretoria-based lawyer Gert van der Merwe to handle her divorce case. This was despite the fact that Van der Merwe had been subcontracted by Trispen.
Segabutla also admitted to Madonsela that Lucas regularly took parcels to her daughter at a boarding school in Pretoria, signing the visitors’ register as “uncle”.