David Makhura pledges his commitment to lifestyle audits ‘done the right way’
Gauteng premier David Makhura says he is still committed in doing lifestyle audits in provincial government but they have to be "done the right way".
This comes after DA member of the provincial legislature Jack Bloom accused Makhura of delaying the lifestyle audits on the members of his executive.
Makhura told the provincial legislature that he was still engaging the relevant institutions that would help to conduct the lifestyle audits.
This has angered the DA. The party has argued that the lifestyle audits are not viewed with any urgency by provincial government. "I am very disappointed by the slow progress in this matter as corruption is rife in provincial government departments and lifestyle audits are a useful tool to pick up areas for investigation‚" said Bloom.
But Makhura’s spokesperson, Phumla Sekhonyane, told TimesLIVE on Wednesday that the provincial government wanted to follow due process and utilise the relevant agencies in the audits.
"In government there are agencies that are empowered to conduct lifestyle audits. When you take a decision to have lifestyle audits‚ you have to consult these agencies. It is true that the premier said we are consulting with the police and the South African Revenue Service‚ so that we follow the law.
"We don’t want to embark on a process that will end us in courts. [The issue of lifestyle audits] is something that the premier takes very seriously‚" said Sekhonyane.
Makhura would on Wednesday meet the ethics council he established to advise provincial government on issues of integrity, she said. The council is led by former auditor-general Terence Nombembe.
"The premier’s intention is to see the lifestyle audits happening in this term of administration. Obviously‚ we are now dependent on the advice and consultation from the agencies that are empowered to conduct the lifestyle audits‚" Sekhonyane said.
In his statement‚ Bloom argued that the premier should not rely only on state agencies for the audits. "He doesn’t have to wait for a state agency to do these audits; private companies can do it."