ANC national audit finds corruption and fraud

By Aziz Hartley Time of article published Aug 26, 2008

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An ANC national audit committee has recommended that the Western Cape Provincial Executive - headed by Mcebisi Skwatsha - should be dissolved because of corruption and fraud.

The audit also found that the party's provincial secretariat should be held responsible for the party's sorry state of affairs.

It also wants two outstanding regional conferences and the provincial conference to be run by the ANC national office instead of Skwatsha and the provincial executive, "to legitimise the process".

These findings are in a summary by an ANC national audit team - Errol Present, Mandla Dlamini and Mandla Twala - which earlier in August investigated the party's membership and branches in the province.

Messages left for Skwatsha were not returned.

"There is no need for the PEC (provincial executive committee) to operate further; (it) must be dissolved because the audit report is an indictment against the PEC.

"The (Western Cape) provincial secretariat must take full responsibility for the sorry state of the organisation in the province," the committee stated in its findings.

The team found that there had been widespread corruption and fraud regarding membership and that many branches held annual general meetings (AGM) without achieving quorums, among other things.

During auditing from August 5 to August 9 at the ANC provincial offices, the team found:

  • Some branches were launched and held AGMs with participation by under-age teenagers.

  • Some membership application forms were tampered with or not signed by members themselves.

  • Some AGMs were held without the chairpersons, secretaries or their deputies present.

  • There were no deposit slips as proof of payment for membership and 70 percent claimed to have made a bulk payment.

  • Expired membership forms were not audited as some were attached to renewal forms.

  • In the Overberg, four branches doubled or trebled their membership immediately after their launch AGMs.

    In their summary, the audit team also said: "The draft audit report in terms of the outcome clearly points out corruption and fraud regarding membership, branches went to AGMs without achieving quorums and payment of membership.

    "In the Boland, this happened mostly after the disbandment of the REC (regional executive). Out of the 39 branches formed, 37 were approved under the supervision of the dissolved REC.

    "Clearly, we welcome the draft audit report. In fact, it endorsed our argument that a team from national must be deployed as a matter of urgency to legitimise the process leading up to the two outstanding regional conferences and the provincial conference."

    The report, leaked to the Cape Times, came in the wake of accusations that branch and regional AGMs had been rigged in favour of Skwatsha being elected provincial chairman.

    Meanwhile, Boland's regional conference was postponed for the fifth time at the weekend. No date has yet been set for the Dullah Omar region as it is struggling to have the required 70 percent of its branches hold AGMs.

    Regional conferences must be held before the provincial elective conference can take place.

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