Max Du Preez pic Fredlin Adriaan
Max Du Preez pic Fredlin Adriaan

Shame on you Zuma and Mantashe

By Max du Preez Time of article published Jul 31, 2012

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Corruption is a problem, yes, but at least the present government is doing something about it, we hear. In fact, from President Jacob Zuma and ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe down to the ordinary ANC faithful we are regularly told that eradicating corruption is a primary ANC goal.

No it is not. The evidence before me suggests loyalty to comrades and support for one or other faction is far more important to the top brass in the ANC than acting against |corruption.

Stealing public money really hurts the poor first. If we had no corruption, we would have had more than enough money to upgrade our rural and township schools and hospitals, train and appoint more doctors, teachers and nurses and supply more people with potable water, proper sewerage and electricity.

The stark reality is that through tolerating, sometimes even encouraging, corruption and tenderpreneurship, the ANC on all three levels of government is showing a thick middle finger to the very same people they claim to have liberated.

So what is the evidence I’m talking about?

I could point to the R50-billion arms deal, in which hundreds of millions landed in the pockets of politicians and ANC-connected middle men, and that no one has been charged in a criminal court more than a decade after the first revelations of wrongdoing.

I could remind you that there was strong prima facie evidence of corruption, fraud and racketeering against Zuma himself, but in a controversial move the charges were dropped.

I could point out that the ANC chairman in Limpopo and close buddy of expelled ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema, Cassel Mathale, has been associated with many of the allegations of tender fraud in the province he is also premier of, but was re-elected nevertheless and is still a member of the ANC’s national executive.

Similarly I could add that the chairman of the ANC in the Northern Cape is suspected of serious corruption, fraud and money laundering, but he was recently re-elected in his position. Several newspapers have reported that ANC stalwart and former minister Mac Maharaj had irregularly awarded huge tenders to companies belonging to convicted fraudster Schabir Shaik and was allegedly rewarded with money in his wife’s account and an expensive American holiday. He was nevertheless appointed the official spokesman of the president.

I can add many other similar stories of corrupt or allegedly corrupt ANC officials who were never prosecuted and remained in the positions in the party.

But I would prefer to move away from allegations and newspaper reports and tell you about evidence accepted by a court of law that shows clearly how casually the ANC leadership treats corruption.

In 2008 two ANC councillors of the Rustenburg municipality, Alfred Motsi and Moss Phakoe, became aware of serious corruption involving the ANC mayor, Matthews |Wolmarans.

Wolmarans is a close associate of the chairman of the ANC in North West, Supra Mataboge.

The two councillors meticulously complied a detailed dossier on the corrupt dealings.

They first raised it in the council, but there was no reaction. Then they took their dossier to the police. Nothing happened.

Then the two determined men travelled to Johannesburg to see Mantashe in his office in Luthuli House and left copies of the dossier for him. When Mantashe didn’t react, Motsi phoned him several times. Mantashe dismissed him, calling them trouble-makers.

In December 2008 Motsi and Phakoe travelled to Nkandla, where they had an appointment with Zuma. They explained their dossier and pleaded for action.

A month or two later they took their evidence to a meeting in Potchefstroom with Zuma, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, ANC treasurer-general Mathews Phosa and North West Premier Thandi Modise.

The two then handed their dossier to the minister then in charge of local government, Sicelo Shiceka, during a meeting in Rustenburg which mayor Wolmarans also attended.

According to court evidence, Phakoe looked at Wolmarans across the table and said to him: “Hurt me, but don’t kill me.” Phakoe afterwards told Motsi: “This might be my last day.”

Two days later the mayor’s bodyguard, Enoch Matshaba, shot Phakoe in his parked car at his Rustenburg home as he returned from putting up ANC election posters.

Phakoe died on the spot.

Motsi’s crusade led to his suspension as chairman of the MK Veterans Association – he abused his position, it was found.

Wolmarans was the obvious suspect in the case, but the officer in charge of the investigation accused Motsi of the murder.

Only last year when the Hawks raided crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli’s office did they find the dossier and charged Wolmarans and his bodyguard.

Two weeks ago, Judge Ronnie Hendricks found that Motsi was a truthful and reliable witness. He sentenced Wolmarans to 20 years and Matshaba to life in prison.

Shame on you, Jacob Zuma. Shame on you, Gwede Mantashe.

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