By Thys Khiba
Mahikeng – The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the North West province confirmed that they are going to write to the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance in the Provincial Legislature, Aaron Motswana, requesting him to summon Prof. Premier Tebogo Mokgoro to explain his decision to place the MEC for Department of Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs (COGHSTA), Mmoloki Cwaile, on special leave.
“Placing MEC Cwaile on special leave without supplying any reasons is nothing other than a political chess game that will further destabilize the Department, with communities as the biggest losers,” said DA MPL Freddy Sonakile.
This follows the announcement by the Office of the Premier confirming that Premier, Prof. Tebogo Job Mokgoro has in accordance with powers bestowed upon him by the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa 1996, placed MEC Mmoloki Cwaile on special leave with effect from today, 05 August 2021.
“During the period of MEC Cwaile’s special leave, MEC Desbo Mohono has temporarily been assigned with the functions and powers for the portfolio of Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs,” said North West Provincial Government Spokesperson Brian Setswambung.
The DA linked Mokgoro’s decision to place Cwaile on special leave to the “irregular” contract extension awarded to King and Associates as the Programme Management Unit to oversee construction projects.
“It further came to light that, despite the irregularity of this contract and all the public funds wasted, Premier Mokgoro has been fighting for this contract to be extended. It will therefore not be surprising if the Premier decides to place all MECs who dispute this extension on special leave,” said Sonakile.
According to Sonakile, it is common knowledge that the Premier and MEC Cwaile have been having strong disagreements over the extension of the current Human Settlements Head of Department (HOD), Neo Sephoti’s contract. Cwaile is of the view that a new HOD should be appointed and the Premier disagrees.
The DA is also disappointed by the decision of Mokgoro to temporarily assign MEC Desbo Mohono with the functions and powers for the portfolio of Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs.
“As if all this controversy is not enough, the Premier went ahead and appointed Desbo Mohono as acting MEC of COGHSTA. This after she has been implicated in a R1 million travel claim scandal that has been questioned by the DA.”
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