southafricalogoNews24 reports that Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) chief financial officer Caiphus Ramashau has been placed on precautionary suspension in connection with a R118 million New York deal to buy land which didn’t exist.

Dirco director-general Kgabo Mahoai was suspended last month in connection with the deal. The Democratic Alliance (DA) welcomed Ramashau suspension, but said the party still had serious concerns about other senior officials implicated in the project who have not been suspended. DA spokesperson on international relations, Mergan Chetty, said on Sunday: "It has now emerged that the department has engaged to sublease office space for our missions in New York, and the very role players implicated in the R118 million shenanigans are also at the centre of this new deal. This is a recipe for disaster, and we brought this to [International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor's] attention.” The party previously claimed that Mahoai's suspension was "a smokescreen to protect other senior officials closely linked to senior politicians". Pandor said in Parliament earlier this month that the department was making efforts to recover the money through a review of the tender in the high court.

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