‘Audit us on current issues, on how we are performing’

Maile unhappy with AG’s ‘negative opinion’

- By Penwell Dlamini

Gauteng MEC of human settlement­s Lebogang Maile wants to drag the office of Auditor-General (AG) Tsakani Maluleke to court after she gave his department a negative opinion in her report due to its failure to produce old contract which was burnt at the Bank of Lisbon building.

In the 2021/2022 report, the department received a qualified audit outcome with matters of emphasis from the AG. It also had R191m in irregular expenditur­e which related to contracts that the department entered to in the previous financial years.

Maile said in Sandton yesterday that the AG asked the department questions about contracts whose document burnt in the Bank of Lisbon building fire in 2018.

“In our view we think the conclusion which is about the status of the finding whether it is a qualified on unqualifie­d, is wrong. We think it should be unqualifie­d [audit opinion] … There are issues that make the AG to come to a conclusion that it is a qualified opinion, we do not agree with that.

“Why are you asking about informatio­n that dates back to 2018? We don’t have it. We tried asking service providers for the informatio­n, it did not workout. Audit us on the current issues. Audit us on how we are performing,” he said.

Maile added that the department has appointed a senior counsel who has given a preliminar­y advice indicating that the department has a case and thus it can go to court.

In September 2018, the Bank of Lisbon building in the Johannesbu­rg inner city burnt down, killing three firefighte­rs who were trying to put out the blaze. The building has since been demolished.

Maile said since 2018 disaster, the department has automated its systems to ensure that all documentat­ion relating to contracts is stored online.

 ?? IMAGES /GALLO ?? Lebogang Maile
IMAGES /GALLO Lebogang Maile
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