PRETORIA–The Minister in the Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, says the justice cluster of departments must be given room to do its work in uncovering alleged corruption in North West Province.

She was giving an update on the work of the Inter-Ministerial Task Team (IMTT), which is charged with assessing the state of governance in that province. The team, which is led by her, includes Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi; Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene; Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize and Justice Minister Michael Masutha for the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security [JCPS] cluster of departments.

Over and above the obvious responsibility of restoring peace to North West province, the JCPS Cluster has to conduct further investigations where maladministration and/or corruption are suspected. In areas where glaring contraventions of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) are found, the IMTT is referring the matters to the law enforcement agencies for consideration of criminal prosecutions, said Dlamini-Zuma.

The Cabinet this week took a decision to invoke Section 100 (1) of the South African Constitution, which authorises national and provincial executives to intervene in provincial administration and local government respectively within certain constitutional constraints.

The Constitution states that when a province cannot or does not fulfil an executive obligation in terms of the Constitution or legislation, the national executive may intervene by taking any appropriate steps to ensure fulfilment of that obligation.

Based on the preliminary findings of the IMTT, President Cyril Ramaphosa has written to the chairperson of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), the upper house of Parliament, notifying her of the Cabinet’s decision to invoke section 100 (1) of the Constitution to address the problems in the North West.

Dlamini-Zuma said Cabinet ministers who have equivalent departments in the North West will this week assess the findings in relation to specific North West provincial departments. Cabinet will receive the report from the IMTT reflecting recommendations from national departments on the application of the relevant section. The President will then write to inform the NCOP of the full nature of the intervention to meet the constitutional obligations, she said, noting that fact-finding remains a work in progress.

The IMTT is still going through and verifying the information that it received in its consultations with stakeholders. This has to be a meticulous process that ensures that any claims that are made are supported by evidence.