Staff of South African Transport department are seeking immediate sack of SA Transport Minister ,Filled Mbalula.
Read their full letter below:
Mr Cyril Ramaphosa
President of South Africa
Cc Thandi Modise – Speaker of Parliament of RSA
Mosebenzi Zwane – Chairperson Transport Committee of Parliament
Busi Mkhwebane – Public Protector RSA
Bheki Cele – Minister of Police
Kimi Makwethu – Auditor General SA
David Lewis – Corruption Watch
South African Citizens that still care about our country and its future
Dear Comrade President Cyril Ramaphosa,
We thank you for the communique that we received on 23 August 2020. You made a call in your letter about the need for all of us as comrades that: “We each need to be the solution”. We are writing this message to you as ANC comrades, members, supporters and volunteers from the National Department of Transport and all its State-Owned Entities.
In this letter, we will tell you about the problems and our suggestions of the solutions. We also take the pleasure to address this letter to the Speaker of Parliament, Public Protector SA, Auditor General SA, Law Enforcement Agencies to action some of the issues we will address in this letter.
The letter is centred around Cde Fikile Mbalula, the Minister of Transport you deployed to our department and the Director General Mr. Alec Moemi whom you transferred to our department from the Department of Sports and Recreation.
We must state from onset that despite all the issues we would mention about their actions and behaviour, the central question still remains: Why did Cde President chose to deploy Cde Fikile to such and important and strategic department such as ours, the National Department of Transport?
What criteria did the Cde President used?
Why did the Cde President appoint known friends and buddies in Cde Fikile and Alec Moemi as DG to lead the transport sector? Didn’t the President foresee that corruption, nepotism, cronyism, kleptocracy ens was going to be the order of the day? We will explain about this later. We do challenge you Cde President to re-look at your criteria that you use to appoint Ministers and DGs.
- Cde Fikile Mbalula Ministerial Team
We were taken aback when Cde Fikile brought a less competent Ministerial team to support him in his deployment as Minister of Transport. In future Cde President, please go to an extent o prescribing about the caliber of comrades that must work in political offices. We would appreciate if we get to interact and work with competent and skilled political staff of Ministers.
1.1 Political Advisor – Lawrence Venkile
This is a dubious character and present himself as the alpha and omega of the transport sector.
We must inform you Cde President and Cde Fikile that this Venkile person was fired from Mpumalanga province, fired from Metrorail, had a short stint as COO of this department between 2010 and 2012. He never lasts in any employment. We have good evidence in our hands that Venkile does not have all the qualifications that he claims to have. We request Cde President, Public Protector, AG and DPSA to investigate this matter of qualification of Venkile. He is not an honest person.
He continuously confuses our comrades and imposes himself on everyone. According to Venkile, being an advisor of a Minister is a license to do as you please. He is currently leading a task team to plan and organize the National Taxi Industry Lekgotla. He has assembled a team that excludes members of our own Public Transport Branch within the National Department of Transport.
We are still shocked why must the Advisor convene a team that is only comprised of few officials from 4 provinces. Why only these few provinces in any way? We do take kind of this approach. It is factionalism and a divide and rule approach that Cde Fikile has played in ANC political battles. It is very sad that such is brough to the administration of a department.
We are now very angry at our colleagues which we have worked with for years to agree and join this vehicle to divide and rule our department and the transport sector at large. We humbly request them not to send their foot in the department anymore. They can have their meetings on Zoom and Microsoft teams.
We must indicate our displeasure about Venkile’s continued interference in administration of the department. Our Communications team has been rendered useless. They have been relegated to be garden boys and girls of Venkile. They are told what to do and there is no questioning. We are very sad about this as we all know that we have seasoned communicators in our and media gurus in Collen Msibi, Sam Monareng ens who have served our department with honour and integrity dating back from Cde Jeff Radebe days. Media statements are sometimes written and given to be credited to Ayanda Allie Paine who knows nothing but speaking English only.
Why must everything that need to be presented to Cde Fikile go to Venkile? Venkile has usurped the powers of the Deputy Minister, DG, Chief of Staff and has made himself a defector Minister. Cde Fikile is very busy blind to see this because of his focus to be a celebrity Minister of Twitter and Social Media.
1.2 Political Advisor – Bo Mbindwane
This character is no longer with our department. It is important that we inform you what happened.
He came to our department even after having bee involved in mining shenanigans, police corruption ens. He pretended to be having certain qualifications but when he was asked to produce them by our department he ran away.
1.3 Spokesperson – Ayanda Allie Paine
We are now convinced that the appointment of this person had everything to do with the profile of Cde Fikile remaining a Celebrity Minister by having someone who comes from the Media fraternity. This poor lady knows nothing. She does not know what a BGM is, does not have professional writing skills and in fact most of the media statements were written for her by the Communications team and credited under her name.
We are still surprised why would the Cde Fikile appoint someone who does not have a clue about government operates. In our assessment, Ayanda operates at the level of a Senior Admin Officer. She must still learn the ropes of government. DPSA must put mechanisms in place to assess the level of competence of this lady. We are not happy at all with her. The Soshanguve taxi operator’s embarrassment is one but of the issues that come to mind in the process of authoring this communique to you Cde President.
1.4 Chief of Staff – Kagiso Moleme
This is the only solid person that Cde Fikile brough to our department. His experience in other departments prepared him for this role. However, he has now been shifted to Prasa. We do not know what qualifies him to work at Prasa. Is he going to Prasa to look after the deals of Cde Fikile? Is he going to Prasa to assist in the looting of Prasa by Cde Fikile? There are many competent people in our department that can do whatever task he will be doing. Kagiso does not have any training on transport or rail for that matter.
- COVID 19 PPE
Cde President, our staff members were summoned by the DG Alec Moemi during level 5 and 4 of lockdown to process issues in relation to suppliers for PPE. These meetings were happening at night. Staff were instructed by the DG about what needs to happen. Both Kgabo Mantjane and Fikile Nangombe have been party to this corruption. They know very well and have eaten some of the money that was delivered to them in black plastics in their homes, malls, parking lot in Dot.
We have voice notes, videos and pictures of everything that was done. Companies that were linked to the DG and Minister were appointed to be suppliers of PPE.
We have a list of them and especially those that inflated prices. We also have evidence that shows the money exchange between the DG and unnamed people in our parking lot, Irene Mall and Kempton Park. We took this route of following the patterns of the DG because we are quite astounded by the dictatorship and resolve to implement anything at all costs.
We now know that in our department it is the DG’s way or the highway. It is no longer the department of Mpumi Mpofu, Mawethu Vilana, Mathabatha Mokonyama or Chris Hlabisa. We are in hell on earth. It is not nice to work in our department anymore. We are going to present the evidence we have to the Public Protector, AG and Law Enforcement Agencies.
- Public transport
Cde President, some of us thought that you were going to bring a fresh approach regarding public transport. Public transport users of rail, buses and taxis are our voters. They are the majority of our people. When President Obama took over in the US, he created a special project that focused on the Health Care Service system to Americans. Public transport should have been treated the same by yourself here in our shores of South Africa.
Instead you gave it to Cde Fikile to do as he pleases. This is rather unfortunate because when we compare your approach to resolving Eskom and SAA issues, we find serious contradictions. Why is it that there is a clear willingness to resolve Eskom and SAA problems? Is it because the failure of Eskom would affect big white monopoly capital industries? Is it because the failure of SAA would affect the big white suppliers and impact on white business travel?
Now your inaction and lack of interest to resolve Public transport is not assisting. Cde Fikile has made things worse by doing the following:
- Banish the DDG Public Transport Mathabatha Mokonyama to attend part of Section 100 issues in North West. Mokonyama is a well read, qualified and hugely experienced bureaucrat in South Africa, Africa and the World at large. Cde Fikile has rather opted to replace Mokonyama with a novice and a job hopper in Advocate Johannes
Makgatho Makgatho’ record and experience does not qualify him to occupy the post of DDG Public transport if we are really serious about moving our people very safe and efficiently in SA. He has been a job hopper of note, moving from Sanral to RTIA to DoT to DLCA to DoT and changing branches within DoT like underwear.
We call for the reinstatement of Mathabatha Mokonyama back to his original position. We are aware that the sidelining of Mokonyama is a desperate attempt to exclude him from DoT decision making processes as he is very strong character. Both Mokonyama and Collins Letsoalo were great EXCO members of our department.
We are sad to lose Letsoalo to RAF as CEO but we are happy that he will fly our department’s flag wherever he goes and interact. In Collins we trust. Our public money was safe. We are not so sure about the acting CFO Dalian Mabula. She might be bullied by the DG to approve corruption money issues.
It is very sad that there would no longer be voices of reason as the last remaining DDG Chris Hlabisa has been sidelined and frustrated by the DG Moemi.
- We have crafted the Public transport transformation plan. Amongst this plan is the need to have a subsidy policy for Taxi Industry. Our plan calls for the subsidization of taxis. We support the empowerment of the taxis. However, Cde Fikile has rather opted to mislead you on this matter.
Last week he called a press conference to announce the plan to have a talk about talk session on taxi industry. He has called this talk session the Taxi Industry Lekgotla to happen at the end of October. Our Public transport branch is even playing the role of garden boy and tea girl in arranging this event. Our comrades have complaint that Venkile is doing planning for this event in cahoots with selected few officials from provinces we mentioned in sub-section 1.1
Cde Fikile hopes and pray that the event would happen post – corona and State of Disaster. He wants to hit you when our attention would have been on celebrating the end of Coronavirus and State of Disaster. Cde Fikile would convene this session and have around 8000 – 10000 people attending the event. His wife’s company or circle of friends would be in charge in managing the event.
We are very sure that they would bill our department not less than 50 million just to host the event. All this money would go to cronies of Cde Fikile and his wife. We do not need an event. We need a Cabinet decision about subsidization of the taxi industry. Cabinet must apply itself on the mechanics of implementing this decision. You and your Ministers must tell South Africa that you approve the subsidy policy and take us into confidence about how you will it roll out.
It is time for Black industries to get State support. Covid19 has shown us that we have not scratched the surface regarding the empowerment of Black business. We must support Black industries the same way in which the National party did in the support to White industries.We do not have time Cde President. We must implement this now and close the gap and not allow opposition parties to run with this matter during campaign period.
We have always questioned the appointment of Bongisizwe Mpondo. Our main complaint has been how is it possible that a person who has never worked for government and any state-owned entity would be given a task to manage a giant entity such as Prasa all alone by himself. Cde President, a god was created in the form of Mpondo. He was a Board and Executive all in one. Are we really so poor that we can only have 1 person to decide on the movement of 2 million passengers every day?
We are very glad that the high court of the Western Cape has overturned the appointment of Mpondo. The looting would stop. We are convinced that Mpondo was put in Prasa to manage the deals and contracts that Cde Fikile has eaten and continues to eat in Prasa. I mean how was it possible that that Cde Fikile gives praises to the then Prasa Board of Khanyisile Kweyama and then 2 days later he fires all of them from the board?
Mpondo came on the backdrop of all the salivating contracts that DG Moemi found when he was the Chairperson of the Prasa War Room. Our Prasa comrades have informed us that DG Moemi was hellbent with threatening everyone who was to have a say on security contracts, station upgrades, supplier park in Dunnottar, Springs. By the way, you were fooled to believe that there was a War Room. This was a strategy to analyze all the issues of Prasa and then pounce using a new person in the name of Mpondo.
We are not convinced that a seasoned Company Secretary such Lindikhaya Zide would commit a wrong and knowing that a wrong would take him out of his profession as a lawyer. This thing of Mpondo purging all Prasa employees was nothing but a smokescreen to create issues were there was none.
You will see that all the people that Mpondo fired would be back to work again and not because of the Court decision but because of unfair labour practice which the Labour Court would find.
On the contrary, it was quite ironic that Cde Fikile would see it proper to deploy his Chief of Staff Kagiso to work in Prasa. Kagiso was appointed without an interview and availability of a vacant post.
We need to remind you Cde President that Public transport is the backbone of our country’s social and economic development. Our NHTS recorded that 69 percent of our commuting public travel by Taxis alone on a daily basis. Buses transport 24% of the commuting public on a daily basis. Prasa Metro rail transport 2 million passengers every day in South Africa.
- Director General and Staff Management
Cde President kindly remind your Cabinet Ministers and DG’s that the State of South Africa would cease to exist if there were no warm bodies.
The person you deployed in the name of Alec Moemi is the worst of DG’s that we have worked with in transport. This is a man who takes pleasure to tell staff that he does not mind to fire and replace them. This is DG who came to Transport from a lateral transfer. You have costed us dearly by not opening the post to have competitive interviews. Moemi is a perfect demonstration of arrogance, aloofness, cockiness, selfishness ens that have bedeviled our organization, the ANC of Plaatjie, Mandela, Luthuli, Hani, Kotane and many others.
Moemi has inflicted an atmosphere of fear, humiliation, doubt, divide and rule in our department. His meetings are a monologue. Everything is about him. He tells whoever he meets that he is the accounting officer and can’t be told what to do.
This attitude has resulted in the exodus of staff from the Office of the DG and other branches within DOT. The staff have either resigned or reshuffled within DoT for the benefit of Moemi and his cronies. For instance, former Acting DDG Rail Transport, Ngwako Makaepea took a transfer out to the Gauteng Department of Transport after disagreeing to implement corrupt requests of the DG, Nozipho Khuzwayo was humiliated to a point that she opted to be transferred to the International relations unit within DoT. We are not sure whether Nozipho would make a significant contribution as Nomsa Maeko and Themba Nkontwana have a well – oiled machine.
This humiliation was a perfect plan to create space for the DG’s confidant Kgabo Mantjane whom he came with from Department of Sports and Recreation. Kgabo iis now the Acting Chief Director ODG. She knows nothing and screaming at officials is what she knows only.
We remain confused about why ODG’s transport policy guru and parliament expert Sipho Dibakwane was redeployed to do National Transport Master Plan. We also want to indicate that the DG is currently being served by 2 PAs. This is wrong. A DG is not a Minister.
They cannot come with people from other Departments as if they were Ministers. ODG is nothing but a shell and the only person left is Bosa Ramantsi the strategic planning guru of DoT and the hardworking Michelle Phenya.
We remain confused about the status of Mr. Zakhele Thwala, DDG Aviation. He came back after 2 years of hell and ill treatment by our department. We have noted that Mr. Thwala has been relegated to be a paper pusher and do oversight for all entities of DoT. We maintain that this is not the strongest point of Mr. Thwala. Mr. Thwala is an Aviation Guru.
In fact, it is a complete insult that a lightweight such as Alec Moemi would disrespect an ANC MK Guerilla and Commander such as Mr. Thwala. He must be given back his position so that he continues on the work to transform the Aviation sector. The Aviation sector is poor without Mr. Thwala. Our entity, Aksa, needs strong backing from DoT and Mr. Thwala is perfectly placed to give such.
We are not going to mention the role and impact of one CEO Poppy Khoza from Sacaa in Aviation sector. That one is useless and corrupt same as her homeboy Cde Malusi Gigaba who paved a way for her to be appointed as CEO Sacaa.
We have evidence in our possession that we would present to the Public Protector and Law Enforcement Agencies. Her sustained corruption that she did with Cde Sindy Chikunga the current DPSA Minister is shocking to say the least.
We celebrated when Cde Sindy left and were equally puzzled why was she appointed as DM in DPSA. She is God of Corruption in disguise. We are aware that Poppy and Zandi Maseko-Mthembu orchestrated corruption of the highest order when they were here in Sacaa and DoT respectively. We all know that the wedding of Zandi was financed through corrupt money of Sacaa and DoT through Cde Sindy.
We request the Public protector to investigate this and get to the bottom of this matter. We have not forgotten that Zandi had a free for all in DoT and drove Avis cars for family usage just like nothing. We are aware that the DG Moemi is trying by all means to fill all the vacancies during the lockdown period so that when we go back to our department in level 1 we would find new people. We are aware of the efforts to appoint a COO and how that turned out.
We were shocked to learn of the appointment of Moeketsi Sikhudo as the Acting Chief Director Public Transport. This is another bad decision.
Moeketsi must complete the task to establish the Single Transport Regulator of South Africa (STER). He is the perfect guy for this task. We are not surprised though as DG Moemi indicated to us when he arrived that he would make sure that the STER does not become a success.
- Appointment of DG Moemi in Sanral Board.
Cde President, we hereby inform you that despite your desperate attempts of preaching bout the need to run our State-Owned Entities professionally, we are sad and very angry to inform you that the DG, Moemi has appointed himself to serve on the Sanral Board. This act flies against every rule in the book. Since July 2020, Moemi has been attending meetings as a Sanral Board Member. This step is unprecedentant and unheard off. We now have a situation wherein an accounting officer of a Department and a key player in the monitoring of Sanral performance is entangled in the running of Sanral affairs.
We ask ourselves how would Moemi assess and approve the Quarterly and Annual Performance Reports of Sanral that are submitted to our department when he is part of Sanral ?
We wish to appraise you ahead of time that this is the beginning of the end of Sanral. The blood and sweat that was put in by Nazir Alli and elevated by Skhumbuzo Macozoma would come to nothing. We will see board infighting, corruption, nepotism, allocation of tenders to Moemi friends and Cde Fikile friends.
- Way forward
6.1 Cde President, we are of the view that Cde Fikile is not the suitable politician to lead our department and the transport sector. The list of issues we have provided here and many issues are a testimony that the transport sector is too big for him.
We do not want to dictate to you but perhaps redeploy him in a smaller and less complicated department or perhaps let him focus on elections at Luthuli House. He is just not crème de la crème of our organization. He is in the same level as Cde Mcebisi Skwatsha, Cde Stella, Cde Khumbudzo whom we believe are not Ministerial material. We are quite certain that if he would not have fit in Cabinet of Cde Mbeki and Cde Mandela if he was older then. Please give us a Minister who is sharp, well knowledgeable, qualified and skilled too We request for a Minister that will match us technocrats pound for pound.
6.2 Suspend the DG Moemi about Covid19 corruption and other issues we mentioned.
6.3 Remove the appointment of DG Moemi as a board member of Sanral
6.4 Appoint another DG, according to DG Moemi, all of us except his chosen faction are fools and are a cause of problems in the whole sector. We would not work with DG Moemi anymore. He is an extremely bad DG from hell.
6.5 Investigate the corruption against Poppy Khoza and Cde Sindy Chikunga
6.6 Create a special projects office in Presidency to deal specifically with Public transport until there is stability in taxis, buses and Prasa. Our people deserve to be transported in safe, efficient and affordable conditions.
6.7 Allocate bigger responsibilities for the Deputy Minister of Transport. As we saw in the briefings during level 5 of Covid19, the Deputy Minister was just a lame duck. It is sad that a reservoir of transport knowledge and experience is not used and wasted just like a used tissue. Bail our our Deputy Minister from this Celebrity Minister please and Twitterati.
We thank you for taking to read this message Cde President and we hope that the Speaker of Parliament, Public Protector, AG and Law Enforcement Agencies would do their work and root out the corruption in our government. We want a true government of the people to reign. We did not struggle for the few, their friends and families to benefit.
Please do not let us down Cde President. We are sending you now to root out corruption and mediocrity. We demand nothing but excellence in South Africa.
Staff of the National Department of Transport and all its State-Owned Entities.