News24 Wire
2 minute read
12 May 2020
7:26 pm

Sisulu appoints Terry Motau to lead team reviewing corruption in water and sanitation dept

News24 Wire

Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has appointed advocate Terry Motau SC to lead a team of lawyers reviewing all fraud, corruption and irregular expenditure reports in the department - and ensure that all recommendations are fully implemented.

Minister of Human Settlements Lindiwe Sisulu can be seen during a press briefing at the Dirco Media Centre, 24 March 2020, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

“I have directed advocate Motau and a team that he is going to be working that I want all reports on fraud, corruption and irregular expenditure of the department and all water boards to be reviewed and that all recommendations be implemented.

“Officials and service providers involved in corruption must face the consequences,” Sisulu said in a statement on Tuesday.

In 2018, Motau released his report, titled  The Great Bank Heist , which looked into fraud and corruption at the now-defunct VBS Bank, compiled with Werksmans Attorneys.

The report estimated that nearly R2 billion was looted from the bank. More than 50 people benefited from it, News24 reported.

Sisulu said she therefore believed Motau had the necessary experience to lead the team of professionals to ensure there would be consequence management and value for money in the water sector.

Priority

She wants priority to be given to all allegations facing water boards and senior managers of the Department of Water and Sanitation.

“I received a report that more than R16 billion worth of projects have been issued irregularly, including blanket corruption and fraud by officials, to an extent of awarding tenders to themselves and close relatives,” Sisulu said.

Last week, AmaBhungane reported the chief executives of both Amatola Water and Lepelle Northern Water claimed they were being targeted because they were standing in the way of efforts to manipulate tenders and appoint a well-connected company for drought relief programmes.

At the heart of the accusations is Mphumzi Mdekazi, a close confidante and adviser to Sisulu.Amatola Water chief executive Vuyo Zitumane and her Lepelle Northern Water counterpart, Phineas Legodi, both state in affidavits Mdekazi and the department have tried to pressure them into using a technology called sand water abstraction, to extract water from sandy riverbeds.

Both are currently on “precautionary suspension”.

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