Shiceka must give back money – Lekota

2012-11-07 16:37
Carien du Plessis
Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota has caused a stir in Parliament when he asked what government was doing to recover the public money the late Sicelo Shiceka had wasted.

Lekota asked the question to Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe in the National Assembly earlier today, to murmurs of protest by some MPs.

Lekota said public figures had been abusing state funds, but often there were no arrest.

“What steps have been taken against those on who information is public?” Lekota asked.

He cited former public works minister Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde, who was slammed by the Public Protector for her role in the police lease saga, and former cooperative governance and traditional affairs minister Sicelo Shiceka, who was found by the Public Protector to have squandered public money on overseas trips and expensive hotel stays.

Motlanthe replied that the Asset Forfeiture Unit had been confiscating “ill-begotten gains or wealth”, but he wasn’t aware that Mahlangu-Nkabinde had been accused of embezzlement.

He invited Lekota to alert the unit if he was aware of any embezzlement.

“As for former minister Shiceka, may his soul rest in peace,” Motlanthe said.

DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko followed up Lekota’s question by asking whether Motlanthe thought it was “justifiable” to spend as much money as had been on Zuma’s house in Nkandla.

City Press has reported that this amount is almost R250 million.

Motlanthe didn’t answer the question directly, but said Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi was “likely to clarify” issues on this, while the DA has also brought the matter to the Public Protector’s attention.