Durban - The gloves came off within the ANC-led alliance on Wednesday with the SACP and South African Civic Organisation (Sanco) making claims of “corrupt tendencies” in KwaZulu-Natal and eThekwini metro.
The two parties claimed the eThekwini metro had been ordered by the ANC not to take any decisions on the Tansnat bus service without consulting regional leaders.
They also claimed government officials were being summoned to the ANC offices by the newly-elected leaders while “organised tenderpreneurs” demand to benefit from tenders.
The claims were made at a Durban media briefing after SACP and Sanco held a bilateral meeting on Sunday.
Addressing the media, Sanco provincial secretary, Richard Mkhungo, said they were disturbed the municipality had not taken over the bus service in Durban despite a decision taken some time ago.
Mkhungo charged that there was a “hidden hand” that prevented the municipality from implementing the decision on the bus service.
Pressed to explain the “hidden hand”, Mkhungo made veiled references to the ANC without mentioning it by name.
“What I can tell you is that executive council was summoned to the provincial office and they were told not to take decisions before consulting 21st floor.”
The 21st floor refers to the ANC regional offices in Durban’s Commercial Building.
Mkhungo also said they noted proliferation of “organised tenderpreneurs” who held communities and municipalities to ransom, demanding to be considered for tenders even if they did not qualify.
Mkhungo made an example of the Delangokubona Business Forum, which demanded tenders for refuse removal and electricity tenders in uMlazi.
“The (council) leadership could not agree but they were called to account and to reconsider their position (so that they) give them (business forum) tenders without following processes,” he said.
Mkhungo said this turn of events was combined with “scandalous summoning” of municipal and government officials by the newly-elected leaders in the province.
This, he said, was in “violation of laws preventing political interference in the running of government business”.
“As these two organisations, we strongly condemn such corrupt tendencies and we will do everything in our power to fight against it,” Mkhungo said.
SACP provincial secretary, Themba Mthembu, said they had received reports from government officials who were worried about being summoned to the ANC offices and told there was a new leadership and they should co-operate with it.
“That is wrong and borders on corruption,” Mthembu said.
He also said governing parties ought to interact on government issues with their deployed leaders.
ANC provincial secretary, Super Zuma, said they reiterated their position that they would not engage on alliance matters in public.
“We expect our alliance partners to do the same when there are issues they want to engage us on,” Zuma said.
He expressed shock that alliance partners raised the issues despite a secretaries meeting that prepared for an alliance summit.
“Some of the issues raised were not raised in that meeting. We, however, expect to engage properly in the meeting.”
Commenting on “summoning” of officials, Zuma said the ANC had after its election stated that it wanted to align its programmes with those of the government.
“We did not hide it. Indeed, we met departments,” he said.
He also said they had a lekgotla, where MECs attended to deal with programmes of the ANC-led government.
He again advised SACP and Sanco to raise their issues in the right platforms.