IN QUOTES | Lesufi says 'heads will roll' over 'dodgy' R431m schools sanitation bill
Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi says he is “disappointed and disgusted” in the way his department spent R431m on sanitising schools.
TimesLIVE said that a report compiled by the head of department and CFO revealed that allegedly dodgy spending of about R431m for decontamination, disinfection and cleaning of educational facilities commenced in June 2020 in preparation for the opening of schools on June 8.
The process involved 2,207 schools and 38 administration buildings.
It has been alleged that a number of companies awarded tenders to sanitise schools did not have any expertise and experience and were not part of the cleaning industry.
Speaking on the allegations in an interview on 702, Lesufi said he did not know about the amount spent. He vowed to launch a probe and that heads would roll.
Here are five quotes from his interview.
Taken aback by the report
“I was not aware, I only became aware when the journalist requested the information, and when I went through the report I was completely taken aback.”
Disgusted, to say the least
“I have taken the decision that I need to get law-enforcement agencies to dig deep and investigate this matter. I am disgusted. Whoever was responsible must know we will take appropriate action.”
“As a political office, we are held accountable for things that are just sometimes far from us. There is a separate authority, there are things the operation office must do and there are things the political office must do.”
“What I knew and endorsed, was that every school must be given a certain amount of money so that when there is a case of Covid-19, they don't have to write reports to a district office.”
“This publicity is completely unwarranted and not needed. I take full responsibility. I am responsible for this department.”
On social media, users shared their shock at the news, with some saying Lesufi should face the music.
#Lesufi— Sias Steyn (@SiasSteyn) January 27, 2021
Former MEC Bandile Masuku was fired for “failing to provide sufficient oversight” in his Department. Now, MEC Panyaza Lesufi says he didn’t know anything about the R431 million wasted by his Department on sanitizers. The Premier must fire him for the same reasons.
Release the names of the companies who got those contracts @Lesufi— New Age Papa G (@Lehlohonolo_13) January 27, 2021
If Lesufi claims total ignorance, then he must be fired for egregious negligence . This was an urgent and massive project with potentially high social impact as well as attraction for abuse. His oversight should have been highly sharpened.— Thabang Motsohi (@MotsohiThabang) January 27, 2021
It's another covid19 scandal by this corrupt lot. R431 million squandered within 3 months at the gauteng education dept, and the very competent and squeaky clean Panyaza Lesufi says he wasn't aware of the theft.— Barney Mthombothi (@mthombothi) January 26, 2021
He says heads will roll. Well, his head should be the first to roll
Almost half a billion squandered by Gauteng Education on comrades & @Lesufi claims he is taken aback. This is such a sick joke honestly. I had a bit of faith in @Lesufi but oh well he is from @MYANC so what did I expect🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔. History will deal with them accordingly!!!— Ma-ter (@rockshandiies) January 27, 2021