Dept of Military Veterans suspends senior officials as it cleans house


The Department of Military Veterans is investigating irregular expenditure amounting to R119 million and has since placed four senior officials on precautionary suspension pending the outcome of the investigation.

This is according to the Deputy Minister, Thabang Makwetla, who was briefing the media on the department’s irregular expenditure.

The Deputy Minister told the media on Tuesday that the Director-General (DG), Irene Mpolweni, who has suspended the officials, was exercising her authority as accounting officer to implement consequence management as required by the Public Service Commission.

According to Makwetla, the Public Service Commission (PSC) wrote to the then Acting DG, Lieutenant General Derrick Mgwebi last month, requesting him to provide information on consequence management in respect of irregular fruitless and wasteful expenditure by the department.

He told journalists that the Commission noted that the department reported irregular expenditure amounting to R119 million and fruitless and wasteful expenditure to the tune of R5 million in the annual report for the financial year 2019/20.

“The Public Service Commission and the Director-General of the Department of Military Veterans agreed to collaborate to overcome the challenges faced by the Department of Military Veterans.”

Makwetla said the suspended officials have since been informed about the department’s intentions to appoint a service provider to commence with the investigations.

This is in a bid to implement consequence management as required by the PSC.

In dealing with this matter expeditiously and efficiently, the Deputy Minister said the department intends to adhere strictly to the prescribed 60-day period to bring the probe into finality.

In addition, he said Minister Thandi Modise has also been appraised of the decision of the DG in line with the requirements of consequence management.

He also addressed reports about the upkeep of the troops that were deployed in KwaZulu-Natal to quell the unrest after soldiers complained about not having food or clean water.

“So, these are you know, niggling issues that we’ll be able to overcome with the necessary support that has been assured by the highest office in the land,” he added.