Johannesburg - United Democratic Movement president Bantu Holomisa’s letter to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela over alleged graft within the ruling party has stirred up a storm.
On social media, Holomisa has been praised for exposing corruption. Holomisa asked the public protector to investigate whether the Public Investment Corporation, which manages state workers’ pensions, diverted about R40 million to the ANC, which has denied receiving the money.
However, Holomisa’s two-page letter is short on detail.
Here is what he sent to Madonsela:
“REQUEST FOR AN URGENT INVESTIGATION: Public Investment Corporation (PIC).
I take this opportunity to welcome and wish you and your office, a very successful year in the service of the nation, in 2016.
In this regard, I wish to table the following matter with you, so that you may investigate it appropriately for the benefit of the South African public.
I have anonymously received serious allegations with regard to the possible corruption in the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) fund. It looks like the institutionalised corruption, which has resulted to South Africa being downgraded by various global grading bodies, has extended its vicious arm to the pensions of government employees, Judges, Members of Parliament and others who are paid from the public purse.
It is alleged that, during the second week of December 2015, an amount of R40m was transferred from the PIC account to a company whose name is attached herein. This company is known for handling the PIC and government transactions. It is further alleged that this R40m was meant to fund salaries of the ANC staff members and its Birthday Anniversary Celebrations held on the 8th of January 2016.
Another allegation is that, in January 2016, an amount of R2m was transferred from the PIC account to a company whose name is also attached, for the benefit of the ruling party.
You are further requested to investigate another allegation that the PIC is about to fund a company whose name is attached herein, with an amount of R1.5bn, in order for this company to purchase a 25 percent stake from another person who holds this stake with TOTAL Oil Company. I request you to investigate whether due diligence of this transaction was conducted and whether it is in accordance with the relevant laws governing the PIC.
Given the specific allegations above, it is clear that there is a need for a thorough and comprehensive investigation of how the PIC is managing all the monies entrusted with them. A judicial commission of enquiry may be relevant in order to ensure that these monies are not vulnerable to the whims of the political elite.
I look forward to your excellent investigative work on this matter.
Mr Bantu Holomisa, MP
President of the United Democratic Movement.”
The letter sent to the public protector also apparently contained three attachments, which are not in IOL’s possession. These attachments, it says, are:
1. R40m transaction in December 2015 was to the Deutshe Bank.
2. R2m transaction in January 2016 was to the Harith Company.
3. R1.5bn oil transaction is destined for the Sakh’umnotho and Kilimanjaro Capital.
Last week, Bloomberg reported that Holomisa would not disclose the identity of his source.
The wire service also noted, under South African law, political parties are not required to reveal where they get their money, and civil rights groups have said the lack of transparency feeds corruption.
Bloomberg also quoted ANC Treasurer Zweli Mkhize as saying Holomisa’s allegations were “false and baseless”. Mkhize pledged to cooperate with any investigation if requested to do so. “The ANC has no knowledge of these transactions, nor any record of such monies being paid to the organisation,” he said in an e-mailed statement. He PIC will also cooperate.