Senior official found guilty of fraud - DA

Pretoria - The DA on Monday welcomed the firing of a senior public works official over fraudulent payments involving the renovation of homes for ministers in Pretoria.

"The DA welcomes the dismissal of former director of the prestige unit... Noloyiso Ntwana for fraudulently paying contractors more than R60m to renovate houses for new government ministers in 2009," DA MP Kenneth Mubu said in a statement.

Among other offences, Ntwana was found by a departmental disciplinary hearing to have paid grossly inflated sums to contractors.

Mubu said questions remained on the total amount spent on upgrades at ministerial homes since 2009.

Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi's recent response, in a written reply to a parliamentary question, that providing details of work done to and money spent on 35 ministerial homes would compromise ministers' security was "a weak excuse in an attempt to classify the information".

Mubu said a reply last year to a similar question had revealed that:

- In 2009, R15m was spent on a house in Cape Town for Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti;

- An amount of R10.67m was spent on the overhaul of a house earmarked for use by then deputy transport minister Lydia Chikunga; and,

- Just under R5m was spent on upgrades to a home for the then agriculture, forestry and fisheries minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson.

Mubu repeated his call for Nxesi to provide details relating to ministerial housing.