DA asks cops for Pascoe graft probe

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Former DA councillor Grant Pascoe, who defected to the ANC last month, has denied that his wife benefited from his move Picture: Boxer Ngwenya

Cape Town - The Democratic Alliance has formally asked police to investigate possible corruption by former City of Cape Town mayoral committee member Grant Pascoe and a senior ANC councillor after a secretly recorded conversation appeared to suggest Pascoe’s wife had benefited financially from his move to the ANC.

At the time of Pascoe’s defection to the ANC, the DA accused him of accepting financial inducements. He denied this at the time and on Tuesday strongly denied the new allegation that his wife was promised a government contract.

Western Cape DA leader Ivan Meyer and DA councillor Shavel Arendse laid the complaint at Caledon Square police station on Tuesday morning.

In an affidavit presented to police, the pair allege that the ANC’s Jeremiah Thuynsma, chairman of Sub-Council Nine, was recorded making the claim about Pascoe’s wife, although he did not name her.

On Tuesday Pascoe said: ”That’s absolute nonsense. Neither my wife or I have ever received any contracts. We don’t do business with government – it’s one of our principles.

“I’ve had no dealings with anyone with the ANC at local level – I don’t know where they could have got that information from.”

The recording was secretly made by Arendse, councillor for ward 82, late last month. He handed over his recording to his party, which had the conversation transcribed by experts.

Arendse and the DA believe the transcript shows that Thuynsma suggested that various government-linked contracts were up for grabs and that Pascoe’s wife benefited from one of these.

The exact quote, attributed to Thuynsma, was “Nee, Grant het ? groot pak gekry van my, sy vrou het (onhoorbaar), baie groot pak gekry.”

The DA believes any such a contract could fall foul of anti-corruption legislation. Meyer on Tuesday handed over the transcript and an affidavit to police for investigation.

Meyer told the Cape Argus: “It is against the code of conduct of the IEC, but also the Anti-corruption Act, for anyone to offer anyone financial resources to join another party.”

Pascoe left the DA and his job as the City of Cape Town’s political head of tourism, events and marketing to join the ANC.

DA leader Helen Zille alleged Pascoe was offered more than R1 million and a car to join the ANC.

Zille alleged the ANC had approached several people within the DA in the Western Cape, offering one a post at R880 000 per year with a R200 000 upfront payment.

 

Pascoe denied the allegations, repeatedly denying any financial inducements to join the ANC.

Provincial ANC chairman Marius Fransman said Zille’s allegations were blatant lies and were defamatory. He threatened legal action.

But Zille refused to retract the comments and challenged the ANC to sue her. The DA believes the secret recording shines further light on the matter.

 

On Tuesday morning Thuynsma said: “I did not participate in any conversations with Pascoe about him moving to the ANC. The first I heard was when I saw him on TV at Luthuli House.”

Asked whether he had spoken to Arendse, he said: “I had a conversation with Mr Arendse about him moving to the ANC, and what we could offer him. I told him that is not my brief.”

Asked about the meaning of his quote in the transcript which referred to Pascoe, he agreed that in “Cape Flats slang”, a “pak” could mean “a lot of money. Or it could mean he got hit – it could mean either. But I can’t even remember having that kind of conversation with him. I’ve got nothing to hide.”

He would answer in court the allegations that he was recorded saying Pascoe had been indirectly bribed.

Cape Argus


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