Manhattan, seen from an MTA train approaching Queensboro Plaza station in Queens, NI. (Getty Images)
- DA MP Mergan Chetti said The chief financial officer of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, as well as the former ambassador to the UN, should face issues related to the land agreement.
- However, Ambassador Jerri Matjila returned to South Africa and no longer works for that department.
- The company accused Minister Naledi Pandora of acting too slowly.
More heads should roll in relation to the failed New York land contract of 118 million R, said DA.
This follows a precautionary suspension on Thursday by Kgabo Mahoai, director general of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, more than a year after a parliamentary fact-finding mission discovered that the land it bought for the new offices did not exist.
DA MP Mergan Chetti, who was part of the parliamentary delegation in New York, said that Mahoai was “because of a better word, a smokescreen”, adding “that it was clear that this department violated the regulations of the Treasury” and officials. the behavior was shocking.
Despite rumors that the department’s chief financial officer, Caiphus Ramashau, should also be suspended, a spokesman for Lunga Ngkulunga said that for now, the only name mentioned is Mahoai under suspension.
According to a monitoring report compiled by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation, the project was led from Pretoria.
According to the report:
That said [Ramashau] and Chief Executive Officer [Bernice Africa] he would jump in [to New York] to hold meetings with real estate agents outside the office and leave without notifying the two missions of their discussions on the matter.
MPs noted: “There was no vacant land during the inspection of the pilot project in New York. What exists is an inadequate old and dilapidated building, and 118 million RJ has already been paid for the purchase of the alleged site / vacant lot.
“It was noted that the amount of 118 million RI was paid on the basis of a misrepresentation to the department that the real estate agent had bought land to build an appropriate and sustainable office building.
“The supply chain management challenges associated with the New York pilot project are a source of diplomatic embarrassment and have posed both a representative and reputational risk to the country’s image.”
The report also questions why then-UN ambassador Jerri Matjila failed to meet with the committee during his monitoring visit, instead sending his deputy, Xolis Mabhongo.
It is said that Matjila was on leave at that time.
He was, the report notes, “an accounting officer when the procurement for the 2016/17 pilot project in New York was approved. Years “, and shortly afterwards he was appointed to the mission in New York.
Mahoai took over as general manager.
READ Naledi Pandor puts CEO Dirc Kgabo Mahoai on precautionary suspension
The report noted: “There are still unanswered questions due to the absence of a permanent representative. To get answers, the committee delegation decided that they would have to present themselves before the committee in Cape Town.
“The minister will be asked to determine how his trip will be financed, because he was absent without an official apology, although he was aware that the board was traveling to New York to meet with him.”
Chetti accused Pandora of withdrawing on the issue.
South Africa’s two-year term as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council ended late last year, and Matil was replaced by Ambassador Mathu Joini, who handed over her credentials to UN Secretary-General Antonio Gueterres on February 3rd.
ALSO READ | Dirco paid R $ 118 million for a piece of land in New York that turned out to be an ‘unsuitable’ old building
Matjila is believed to have been appointed to the UN on a four-year contract since he technically retired in 2016, and it was not clear what he was doing now.
He did not answer the phone call or WhatsApp message.
No law enforcement agency is involved as far as is known, and Ngkulunga said the department is still investigating the matter.
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