UDM leader Bantu Holomisa has once again written to Parliament’s joint standing committee on defence, this time calling for co-chairperson Vusimuzi Xaba to recuse himself.
Holomisa’s letters come after allegations that Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula received “several payments totalling over R5 million” from a South African National Defence Force (SANDF) contractor.
She is also accused of employing a relative in the ministry’s finance office.
In his most recent appeal, Holomisa also targeted former secretary of defence Dr Sam Gulube.
Holomisa said Xaba’s response to his first letter of 6 April, saw “a distinct recalcitrance at handling the entire matter”.
He further alleged that Xaba had a “certain predisposition towards Minister Mapisa-Nqakula” and used this as reasons why Xaba should act as “an ordinary member of the committee” when it comes to discussing the matter.
Mapisa-Nqakula challenged Holomisa to report the allegations to law enforcement, to which he said he had proof of seven invoices amounting to more than R15.5 million illustrating how Mapisa-Nqakula “seemingly abused state resources in 2018 and 2019, over and above those trips which cost the taxpayer over R7 million”.
Holomisa asked the committee to use WhatsApp conversation screenshots and information about the minister’s extortion allegations, to review “nepotistic appointments”, to use invoices submitted by Holomisa as “prima facie evidence” of the minister’s use of state resources and to “be reminded” that Gulube also had latent extortion allegations racked up against him.
“The apparent ease with which the so-called top echelon of civilian oversight of the Department of Defence had been able to allegedly shamelessly milk at least one service provider of that department is quite shocking and means that the checks and balances are flawed in the worst way and needs to be reviewed by the committee,” he said.
Holomisa also suggested the committee seek “advice and assistance” from other committees and parliamentary support of investigative tools “might be useful”.