'It's a disgrace': Scopa rebukes De Lille for inaction over Beit Bridge fence

Scopa chairperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa said that until proper action was taken, the fence would be a dark cloud hanging over Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille and the department.

FILE: Public Works Minister Patricia de Lille. Picture: @DepartmentPWI/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille has received another rebuke from frustrated parliamentarians for failing to take appropriate action on the Beit Bridge border fence saga.

De Lille on Tuesday returned to finance watchdog Scopa to account for the 40-kilometre-long fence which cost taxpayers R37 million.

The fence between South Africa and Zimbabwe was constructed during the COVID-19 lockdown.

The Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) said that the Beit Bridge border fence controversy was a stain on the legacy of the department of Public Works and Minister De Lille.

READ: Finalising of probe into Beit Bridge fence a painfully slow process - De Lille

Scopa chairperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa said that until proper action was taken, the fence would be a dark cloud hanging over De Lille and the department.

"This is a black mark on the department of epic proportion. The Beit Bridge debacle, at this point in time, exists as one of the gravest indictments on the PPE-related procurement and COVID rules. It’s a disgrace," Hlengwa said.

African National Congress (ANC) MP Mervyn Dirks wanted more action against De Lille as the political head.

"Why is there no political accountability? Why is no politician held responsible or accountable for what took place there?" Dirks asked.

De Lille noted the slow progress in finalising investigations but has denied any personal liability.

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