Public Works has handed over 28 cases of fraud, misconduct for investigation

Jenni Evans, News24

Cape Town - The Department of Public Works has handed 28 cases of alleged internal fraud and misconduct to law enforcement authorities for investigation, Minister Thulas Nxesi said on Wednesday.

He said 24 officials had been handed over to the authorities and two cases were already in court.

Without providing details, he said that in four cases the director of public prosecutions had declined to prosecute.

He could not follow up with police to make sure those accused were held accountable, because that would be regarded as interference.

He added that when it came to misconduct allegations, once people had resigned, there was nothing the department could do.

"But in terms of criminal cases, you can follow them up," he said in response to a question by DA MP Patricia Kopane.

The department tried to not reappoint them in other provinces, but sometimes they slipped back into the system quietly.

He would not say whether he would resign after the debacle over the estimated R246m spent on upgrades to President Jacob Zuma's private home in Nkandla.

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela had recommended that Zuma repay a portion of the money not related to the security upgrades which initially motivated the revamp.

To heckles of "Fire Spin" - a reference to the Nkandla swimming pool originally dubbed a "fire pool" - Nxesi said the matter was before the Constitutional Court and the department had not been a respondent.

"Public Works stands by its report," he said, to shouts from the opposition benches of, "But the president doesn't".

Zuma has since indicated that he is prepared to pay back some of the money.