Committee wants errant officers punished

Frank Maponya

Frank Maponya

The standing committee on public accounts in Limpopo yesterday ordered that action be taken against two Department of Health and Social Development officials for allegedly making false representations to the auditor-general.

The two officials, who work in the human resources section of the department, allegedly made false representations about employees' benefits in the 2005-06 financial years.

This was after the officials failed to prove how they spent more than R197million on 13th cheques and performance bonuses.

Head of department Jabu Dlamini could not immediately explain why she had failed to take action against the two officials.

This prompted Scopa to warn Dlamini she faced possible disciplinary action for failing to punish the officials.

Scopa chairman Rudolph Phala gave Dlamini until June 8 to take action against the officials.

Among other discrepancies, Scopa found the amounts reflected in the auditor-general's report did not match figures in the cash flow statements.

The auditor-general had quizzed the head office after discovering irregularities in financial statements.

Dlamini told Scopa the two senior officials had been requested to provide the relevant information, but never did so.

"If the officials failed to provide answers, why did you fail to take action against them?" asked Phala.

"You have failed dismally to account for public funds. Do you want Scopa to dismiss you because you are unfit to hold public office or would you choose to resign?" he asked.

But Dlamini responded that she was the best head of department in the province.

The auditor-general's office had requested a breakdown of the amounts paid out to employees in every section in the department.

The office had also requested a list of employees - comprising more than 2600 - who had received bonuses in the departments.

The auditor general's office had also asked for a printout of all employees during the 2005-06 financial year.