Patricia de Lille Responds to Cyber Crime Allegations: Netizens Remind Her Of Beitbridge Border

Patricia de Lille Responds to Cyber Crime Allegations: Netizens Remind Her Of Beitbridge Border

  • Minister Patricia de Lille responded to allegations of cyber crimes at the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure, clarifying her tenure and actions
  • She emphasised her efforts in recovering R253 million and collaborating with the SIU but faced criticism from netizens regarding the Beitbridge border fence project
  • Meanwhile, new Minister Dean Macpherson revealed the department's decade-long vulnerability to cyberattacks and committed to cracking down on these crimes

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Reitumetse Makwea, a Briefly News current affairs journalist in Pretoria, South Africa, has covered local elections, policy changes, the State of the Nation Address and political news at The Citizen and Rekord Noweto for over five years.

Patricia de Lille Responds to cyber crime allegations
Minister Patricia de Lille responded to cyber crime allegations at the Department of Public Works & Infrastructure. Images: Dwayne Senior and Darren Stewart/Gallo Images.
Source: Getty Images

Following allegations surrounding cyber crimes at the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI), Minister of Tourism Patricia de Lille has issued a detailed response.

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This comes after Minister Dean Macpherson, the current head of DPWI, made statements implicating the department's conduct over the past decade.

De Lille, who served as the Minister of DPWI for nearly four years, clarified her position and actions during her tenure.

But netizens were not buying her explanation and reminded her of the Beitbridge border fence.

De Lille's response to her involvement

She emphasised that two other ministers were in charge during the ten years referenced by Minister Macpherson.

De Lille announced her intention to meet with Macpherson next week and requested a copy of the relevant report concerning her time at DPWI.

"During my time, I was able to recover R253 million related to leases where the government was overcharged."
She highlighted her proactive measures in collaborating with the Special Investigating Unit (SIU), which included seconding two SIU officials to investigate all allegations within DPWI.

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De Lille assured me she would provide a comprehensive response once she reviewed the report pertinent to her period.

She reiterated her commitment to swiftly addressing irregularities and alleged corruption, involving the Auditor General and the SIU.

Hackers stole R300m from public works department over 10 years

Cybercriminals, allegedly collaborating with state officials, have stolen R300 million from the DPWI over a decade.

New Minister Dean Macpherson revealed the department's vulnerability to cyberattacks during an assessment with Deputy Minister Sihle Zikalala.

See the statement below on X:

Investigators have seized 30 departmental laptops, and three senior management officials and one middle management official have been suspended.

The latest attack in May resulted in a loss of R24 million.

"It has become clear that the department has been a soft target and playground for over a 10-year period, and this should have been picked up a lot earlier.

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"This is money that could have been spent on our infrastructure drive to improve the lives of South Africans."

Her statement did not convince South Africans

However, netizens quickly expressed their scepticism and criticism of de Lille's tenure at DPWI, particularly referencing the controversial Beitbridge border fence project.

@kabelodick commented:

"You were busy looting money building a washing line, claiming it's a border fence
"You can't bring the excuses that you were not the only department minister, we have recorded just another useless salary drainage, so please respect usI hope you not a beneficiary of that looting."

@DanCooperCan also said:

"Auntie Pat I’m still reading your statement in response to the Beitbridge debacle and here you are again. I hope this is the last of these statements you have to issue. We know Tourism is a cushy portfolio, but you can’t spend all your time cleaning up your historic issues."

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@1st_putsans also noted:

"And the Covid-19 Beitbrigde washing line that you called border?"

Public works minister vows MECs, MPs’ lavish lifestyles a thing of the past

In a similar article, Briefly News reported that newly appointed Public Works Minister Dean MacPherson has committed to curbing "reckless" spending.

McPherson promised to do away with procuring accommodation and offices for ministers in the 7th administration.

Public works would allocate existing state-owned properties and not procure new ones as a contingency for curbing spending.

Source: Briefly News

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Reitumetse Makwea (Editor) Reitumetse Makwea is a Current Affairs journalist at Briefly News. She has a National diploma, Advanced diploma and Post-graduate diploma in Journalism from the Tshwane University of Technology. She first worked as a student journalist and freelancer for Caxton's Record Noweto and later joined The Citizen News, where she worked for a little over 3 years covering politics, environmental news, business, education, and health. Reitumetse joined Briefly News in 2024. Email: