Coghsta officials off the hook in Tubatse land saga

BURGERSFORT

The Limpopo Department of Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs (COGHSTA)’s officials that were implicated in the infamous Tubatse land deal were cleared off from wrong doing.

In 2014, COGHSTA payed R116.5m for a piece of dormant land valued at R8.14 million in the Greater Tubatse Municipality, effectively paying R108 million more for the land.

The former MEC for COGHSTA, Makoma Makhurupetje, referred the case to the Hawks for an investigation to be conducted and in June 2017 requested the premier to conduct a forensic investigation into the deal and take action against senior department officials.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Limpopo is concerned by Mathabatha’s announcement in the Provincial Legislature recently that Treasury exonerated all implicated in the infamous Tubatse land deal from any wrongdoing.

“The premier took no action and MEC Makhurupetje was subsequently moved to another department. Mathabatha referred the matter to Treasury for investigation. Their report and the Premier tried to assure the house that the process was fair,” said the DA’s Jacques Smalle.

The party believes that because an external investigator was not appointed, the process was compromised.

“The mere fact that a piece of land was bought for an excessive price, R108 million over its value, should be enough to hold implicated officials accountable.

“Treasury’s findings is in contrast to Section 38(1(a))(iii) of the Public Finance Management Act which prescribes that procurement systems must be fair, equitable, transparent, competitive and cost effective. There must be value for money and to date this piece of land remains dormant.”

Smalle said they eagerly await the report from Treasury to scrutinize the reasons behind the exoneration and request the Premier to table the Hawks’ findings in order to compare the findings.

Thapelo Motseo

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