Minister gets flak

Waghied Misbach and Sapa

Waghied Misbach and Sapa

Home Affairs Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and her officials were given a tongue-lashing in Parliament yesterday.

This over the poor state of the department. The drubbing was meted out by chairman of the watchdog committee on Home Affairs, Patrick Chauke.

Mapisa-Nqakula was not present in Parliament and it was up to her Deputy Minister Malusi Gigaba and the department's director-general Mavuso Msimang to defend her.

Chauke said the minister and Gigaba should take more political responsibility for the mess in the department and account to MPs on the problems.

In response, Msimang said he could not be blamed for the mess because he joined the department recently.

"The political responsibilities have been exercised boldly, and we are working towards an unqualified audit," said Gigaba,

He cited the work of the task team that is working on a turnaround strategy.

Gigaba was presenting the department's annual report to the committee.

"For the past few years there had been this chaos we have had to deal with in the department. We are sick and tired of having to deal with the same problems time and again," said Chauke.

Chauke said it was unacceptable that the department had been regularly getting qualified audits from the auditor- general's office.

But Gigaba said Msimang was taking care of the managerial issues, including the suspension of chief financial officer Pat Kambule.

Gigaba said he and the minister were also concerned about the department's problems.

Meanwhile, President Thabo Mbeki and his cabinet will face a grilling in Parliament today when MPs debate the electricity crisis in the country.