DA welcomes Hawks action against Gupta acolyte Bongani Bongo

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has taken note of the arrest of former State Security Minister and ANC MP, Bongani Bongo, by the Hawks on Thursday morning. Reports indicate that his arrest is in relation to his alleged attempts to bribe the evidence leader in Parliament’s Eskom Inquiry, Advocate Ntuthuzelo Vanara.

The DA welcomes this action by the Hawks as we have always maintained that Bongo had a case to answer for. In fact, on 22 November 2017, the DA Interim Leader, John Steenhuisen, laid criminal charges against Bongo in terms of the Prevention and Combatting of Corrupt Activities Act. These charges related directly to the allegations that Bongo offered Advocate Vanara a bribe in exchange for stepping down as evidence leader in the Inquiry.

We have always held the view that the then Minister’s actions were a gross violation of the law and his oath as a Member of the Executive.

It is no secret that Bongo was a critical acolyte in the Guptas’ and Jacob Zuma’s State Capture mafia. And yet, despite this, the ANC outrageously awarded him, and the likes of Faith Muthambi, Mosebenzi Zwane, and Supra Mahumapelo, with Parliamentary Chairpersonships.

Bongo is but one of many State Capture foot soldiers who actively participated in the selling off of our country and we can only hope that his arrest will be the first of many.

DA to submit urgent request to subpoena Gigaba phone records

The Democratic Alliance (DA) will write to the Chairperson of the Home Affairs Portfolio Committee urgently requesting that the phone records of Minister Gigaba be subpoenaed.

The DA has no reason to believe that the Minister has been truthful in his characterization of the nature of his engagements with the Gupta family, or the number of times he met with them.

In his testimony before the committee, the Minister failed to disclose the number of occasions on which he attended functions at the invitation of the Gupta’s. He vacillated between ‘five or six’ and ‘more than once but less than five’ over the last ten years.

Minister Gigaba has been found by North Gauteng High Court to have lied under oath. His appeal in this regard was dismissed by the Supreme Court of Appeals.

In a reply to a parliamentary question in April 2016 the Minister said neither he nor the Deputy Minister had “knowingly held any official meetings with persons who are, or who are associates of or employees of any persons whose surname or family name is Gupta.”

This statement needs to be interrogated in light of the Minister’s testimony in the inquiry last night that invitations to events were extended to him through his office rather than personally, which he claims he attended for reasons of “social cohesion”. He claimed that he had no personal relationship with the Gupta’s.

If the Minister claims to have no personal relationship with the Gupta’s and that he has not held any official meetings with them, what exactly is the nature of his engagement with the Gupta family? The Minister was defensive and evasive in his responses when these questions were put to him in the inquiry last night, fueling doubts about his commitment to full disclosure of the truth.

In the past, captured individuals have been exposed by the forensic examination of the phones, allowing the truth to be ventilated.

An example of this was the exposure of Brian Molefe by former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela in her State of Capture report. It was the Public Protector’s examination of his records that finally gave South Africans assurance of the truth.

We encourage Minister Gigaba to fast-track this process by submitting his mobile devices for forensic examination of his own volition. This is the most credible method of refreshing the Minster’s memory, and of corroborating his account to the satisfaction of the committee and the nation.

South Africans must know the whole truth if we are to close the chapter of State Capture in our history. The DA will spare no effort in ensuring that justice takes its full course, and that the truth is uncovered in its entirety.

Magashule’s Free State Capture: DA requests Zondo Commission to investigate

  • Please find attached Sesotho, English and Afrikaans soundbites by the DA Free State Premier Candidate, Patricia Kopane.
  • Please click here and here for photos.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has compiled a dossier containing allegations of corruption that have been made against Ace Magashule over the last years.

This includes Magashule’s involvement in the controversial Vrede dairy project (where some of the project’s money was allegedly used to pay for the extravagant Gupta wedding in 2013), his office’s dodgy contracts with media companies as well as the Sedgars/Sedtrade contracts.

This morning we sent a letter to the Zondo Commission of Inquiry, detailing many of these allegations. This follows Ace Magashule’s declaration this past weekend that he is willing to appear before the Judge Zondo Commission of Inquiry. Please click here to view the letter.

The DA welcomes this and has requested the Commission not to allow Magashule to focus only on his alleged corrupt links with the Gupta family, but to look into the totality of allegations against him, because this complete picture is clearly one of Provincial Capture.

During his tenure as the Premier of the Free State Province, the province regressed fundamentally; out of a total population of 2.8m people more than a million are dependent on social grant for their livelihood which makes the Free State one of the most poverty-stricken provinces in the country.

Unemployment in the Free State has continuously increased up to a point where four out of ten Free Staters are now unable to find permanent employment, while two out of three job seekers between the ages of 18-25 have no realistic chance of accessing employment.

Governance has deteriorated to a point where all municipalities in the province have collapsed or are on the verge of collapse. Free State municipalities are serial offenders in respect of non-payment to Eskom and water boards, while also failing to render other basic services like sanitation and refuse removal in a reliable manner.

In the period between 2013 and 2017 alone nearly R1 billion was lost through the wasteful expenditure of Free State Municipalities. This was caused by Magashule deploying only those in his factional circle to leadership positions in councils and administrations of municipalities without the necessary skills or based on nepotism.

The Provincial government of Ace Magashule mismanaged health services up to a point where the department is faced with R1.5 billion of malpractice litigation claims. People cannot access proper basic health care both in the hospitals and in the clinics on daily basis.

The Provincial Department of Education has also been branded by the Auditor-General as non-viable entity because of over-expenditure. Between 2013 and 2017 provincial departments have been guilty of spending nearly R2 billion in an unanuthorised manner, the type of spending which according to the Auditor-General is the strongest indicator of possible corruption due to a lack of political oversight and accountability.

While maladministration is partly to blame for the failures of provincial departments and municipalities over the last 9 years, the probability is that the bulk of the people’s money that was not spent properly, has been lost through institutionalized corruption by the manipulation of supply chain procedures.

In addition to information on the allegations against Magashule which have been in the public domain for some time, we can reveal today that over the last weeks we have received information indicating that the manner and volume of awards to two companies by the provincial government must be questioned and investigated.

Over the last years both Sedtrade and E’tsho have benefitted more and more from awards made by provincial departments up to a point where it is possible that the majority of provincial contracts are now handled by these two companies. What is even more serious is that it has now come to our knowledge that they in fact operate jointly as a consortium on contracts such as the construction of Thuto ke Thebe Primary School in Mangaung.

At best this indicates a failure to ensure competitive bidding and proper bid processes, but it has also been alleged to us that the ANC, Magashule and his family have been benefitting privately from the awarding of contracts.

When Magashule appears in front of the Zondo Commission he must account for these new allegations in addition to the other known allegations against him and the provincial government which he presided over for eight years.

We also call on any person who may have specific information of relevance to the provincial capture in the Free State to either make contact with the Zondo Commission, or to contact our offices for assistance in making protected disclosures.

Only the DA is committed in fighting corruption in order to ensure that tax payers monies are used for the benefit of all South Africans.

DA to submit evidence of Guptas’ fake B-BBEE certificates to Zondo Commission

The DA will submit evidence of possible counterfeit B-BBEE certificates, used by Gupta-owned companies to secure Eskom contracts as evidence of State Capture to the Commission of Inquiry, chaired by Deputy Chief Justice, Ramond Zando.

In March 2018, the DA laid an official complaint with the B-BBEE Commission, headed by Ms Zodwa Ntuli, who agreed to probe allegations of fronting and supplying false information through B-BBEE certificates against Gupta-owned Tegeta Resources and Exploration, Optimum Coal Mining and Trillian Consulting.

These Gupta companies submitted certificates to Eskom during the course of 2016 to secure contracts, meet internal procurement requirements and, in the case of Trillian, to ensure payment authorisations worth billions.

Trillian and Tegeta’s certificates show that they may have misrepresented their B-BBEE status. Their annual turnover was inconsistent with that of micro-enterprises. The companies were required to have a turnover of less than R5 million for the 2015/16 financial year to be considered micro-enterprises.

However, according to a 2016 note to shareholders from Oakbay Resources, Tegeta’s assets were calculated at around R11 million, disqualifying it from being a micro-enterprise.

Trillian reported to have a turnover of less than R10 million per year but it and McKinsey were paid R1.6 billion between April 2016 and February 2017 for consulting work done in 2015 and 2016.

Tegeta and Trillian therefore may have unduly benefited from the 0% black ownership waiver given to micro-enterprises.

Should this apparent procurement manipulation by Eskom be found to be criminal, the B-BBEE Commission will be able to refer the matter to the National Prosecuting Authority or the South African Police Service for prosecution.

We trust that the State Capture Inquiry will consider the DA’s evidence favourably as we attempt to expose the lengths that the Gupta’s went to in order to ‘capture’ Eskom. We are pleased that the inquiry is now underway, more than two years after State Capture was uncovered.

It is well known that the State Capture project deliberately undermined the rule of law so that a corrupt elite could benefit at the expense of millions of South Africans. All who benefited from it must held to account and prosecuted.

DA to add Transnet ‘Traingate’ scandal report to criminal charges against Molefe & Gupta associates

The latest forensic report by law firm Mncedisi Ndlovu & Sedumedi (MNS) attorneys on the R15,4 billion price inflation on Transnet locomotives procurement will form part of the affidavit of the criminal charges that the DA will be laying against former CEO Brian Molefe, former Chief Financial Officer Anoj Singh, board sub-committee Chairperson Iqbal Sharma and Gupta lieutenant Salim Essa.

The MNS report recommends that corruption charges be brought against the four individuals and steps taken by Transnet to recover the money lost from Molefe.

This latest report follows a Werkmans Attorney’s report which found out that Brian Molefe, Gupta associates and current Transnet CEO, Siyabonga Gama, may have breached the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) for “…serious breaches of statutes, regulations, corporate governance and unlawful conduct in relation to the transaction – involving billions of rand”.

That two reports from different law firms have reached the same conclusion on the magnitude of the criminal enterprise that Molefe and the Gupta associates presided over for the benefit Gupta-linked firms, provides enough evidence for a criminal investigation to be instituted without delay.

Transnet is a vital cog in South Africa’s economic infrastructure and the financial pilferage it endured at the hands of corrupt ANC deployees like Molefe may have cost thousands of jobs that could have been created had the money been put to good use.

It is therefore essential that, while criminal charges are pursued, the current Transnet Board must act on the MNS recommendation to recover money lost by Molefe through his deliberate acts of economic espionage.

Failure to do so will render the entire Board complicit in violating good corporate governance practices which enjoins them to act against any perceived threats to Transnet’s financial health.

President Ramaphosa must understand the collapse in governance has not only taken place in ANC run provinces but had also become pervasive in State Owned Enterprises (SOEs). Taking stern action against Gupta lieutenants is an essential first step in fixing the culture of corruption in SOEs.

DA calls on Minister Davis to dismiss SABS Board and CEO over damning DTI “Gupta report”

The DA calls for Trade and Industry Minister, Rob Davies, to exercise his authority in terms of the SABS Act to dismiss the South Africa Bureau of Standards (SABS) Board and the Chief Executive Officer, Boni Mehlomakulu, with immediate effect and place the entity under administration.

This after the DA highlighted in March this year, serious governance issues and allegations of corruption within the SABS. To date, the Minister has failed to act decisively.

Today, a damning report (see here) by the  Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) shows that the standards certification body may have aided and abated Gupta corruption by issuing fraudulent certificates on coal sourced from Gupta owned Tegeta mine.

The report reveals clear evidence of serious misconduct by SABS in the issuing of unauthorised and defective test certificates to enable the procurement of non-compliant coal from Tegeta by Eskom.

By its own admission, SABS informed the DTI in writing that the test report on the coal from the Gupta Brankfontein mine was irregular and in breach of protocols. According to Director Gerneal, Lionel October in a written memo, when National Treasury attempted to investigate the Gupta coal test reports, how the SABS CEO and Board acted in a ‘dishonest and hostile’ manner by impeding the investigation through deliberate concealment of information.

SABS wilfully participated in industrial espionage on a grand scale by allowing Tegeta to deliberately flout its rules of procedure on the standardisation process so that coal from the Brakfontein mine could be given a clean bill of health despite evidence to the contrary.

Of major concern is that the testing of the coal from Brakfontein was extremely irregular with the samples given to the SABS rather than independently sourced to verify that they came from the mine.

Job creation for the 9.5 million unemployed South Africans will only be possible if small businesses are able to grow through enhanced market access. However, this will not happen if SABS continues to be compromised that renders it incapable of standardising products for market access.

It has become urgent, now more than ever, that Minister Davies heeds the DA’s repeated calls to institute a turnaround strategy at SABS in order to restore institutional integrity.

Minister Davies cannot continue to bury his head in the sand over this mounting evidence of impropriety by the SABS Executives and Board. The board and CEO are not fit for purpose and must be removed as a matter of urgency.

Supra must still be held accountable for looting and collapsing the North West

The Democratic Alliance in the North West welcomes the announcement that Supra Mahumapelo will no longer occupy the position of Premier of the North West. This is a step in the right direction of ensuring order and stability in the Province.

We are however adamant that Mahumapelo’s transgressions cannot be put to bed merely because he has resigned. He must still be held accountable for the collapse of the North West.

Despite his departure, Mahumapelo still needs to be held accountable for his role in a long list of scandals, which include:

• The monument in honour of Jacob Zuma – a broken man who now faces corruption charges;
• Tenders to the Guptas worth millions while the people of North West suffer without basics like water and electricity;
• His open affiliation and proud friendship with the Guptas who is accused of State Capture;
• His disrespect for the Parliament of South Africa – swearing at opposition party members;
• The Premier flatly refuses to share the damning forensic reports that have been commissioned by his office, pertaining to provincial departments, provincial entities, municipalities, and municipal entities;
• Supra’s Youth Entrepreneurship Services (YES) Programme, which is supposed to address one of the highest youth unemployment rates in the country, has allocated the bulk of the Grant to Ngaka Modiri Molema (R2 019 875) and Bojanala Platinum (R1 752 000) municipalities, coincidentally areas where Supra’s personal support base is strongest;
• Hospitals and clinics are understaffed and without resources. There are no proper patient transport systems in place;
• Towns and cities are falling apart due to no maintenance, due to corrupt spending by government;
• Our communities and schools are subjected to bucket toilets and pit toilets still – 24 years into our democracy; and
• His open incitement to violence and race division during the Coligny protests.

The ANC and Ramaphosa must hang their heads in shame for dragging their feet and accommodating Mahumapelo’s arrogance, all while the province burned and people lost their lives.

Whoever the ANC deploys to serve as Premier will continue where Mahumapelo left off – it will be more of the same.

It is therefore up to the people of the North West to bring Total Change to the North West by voting for the Democratic Alliance, which has a proud track record of putting the people first by stopping corruption, creating jobs and delivering services.

People of the North West far from free under the ANC and Supra

Note the following debate speech was delivered by Joe McGluwa, MPL, DA North West Leader today, Tuesday 24 April 2018 in the Provincial Legislature.

On 27 April 1994 a whole nation was bright-eyed, optimistically awaiting the dawn of the Rainbow Nation.

We were a nation ready for change and new beginnings. We were looking towards a prosperous future for all.

Now, 24 years later, we are disappointed by all the promises and good intentions. Yes, progress has been made for some but if you aren’t part of a politically connected clique, real freedom is but a dream.

Instead of real freedom, our young democracy has been captured by a selfish cabal intent on amassing wealth for themselves, while the majority are without work and go hungry. The dreams and hopes of the people were sold to the Guptas by Supra Mahumapelo.

Here in the North West, we cannot claim to be free at all. We are tied down by unemployment, corruption and the looting of state coffers.

This province has been subjected to violence – all by the doing of the Gupta gang. One of the members of this notorious gang is our own Premier Supra Mahumapelo, who refuses to step down despite the bellowing call from the people and even those in his own party.

Mahumapelo will stop at nothing to fill his pockets and cling onto power. How long will you ignore the voices of the people; the people whose money you have stolen and dreams you have shattered?

The allegations are many. Was the Gupta contract not enough reason to step down already? The R1-million bursary to his son. The collapse of the healthcare system services are not being delivered. And a million rand stolen from emerging black farmers to buy cows for another crook named Jacob Zuma.

What freedoms can our people claim when the friends of Mahumapelo are with jobs, houses, healthcare, education and services?

Our people can not be free for as long as Supra Mahumapelo and the ANC lead this Province. This Province will only be free under a DA government, which will bring total change. This kind of change will ensure that our people are able to find work, services are delivered to all and those who are corrupt sit behind bars, not in the Office of the Premier.

There is talk of early elections, so that the ANC can take advantage of Ramaphosa’s so-called new dawn. The reality is that there is no new dawn for the people of the North West, only old tricks and broken promises.

We are ready to meet you at the polls on any day. We are ready to go door-to-door, telling the people of the North West that the DA will lead and listen when the speak. Under a DA government we will not lie and loot. Under a DA government, our mothers and children will feel safe in their homes and on the streets. Under a DA government the people will always come first.

Under the ANC government in this province, which Ramaphosa is seemingly scared of, not a single municipality received a clean audit. How can our people receive the services they deserve if the money is not spent as intended for? The ANC is not qualified to lead this province.

It is actually not a difficult choice: Supra or the people; the two cannot co-exist.

Freedom Day will have meaning to the people of the North West when they are free from unemployment; when they are free from corruption and when they are free from the shackles of the ANC and Mahumapelo!

If you continue to back this member of the Gupta gang, you will be harshly punished in 2019 when the people vote for Total Change.

It is time for Total Change – where we can really live and work and prosper together. It is time to put the people first.

Freedom and Mahumapelo cannot co-exist.

Supra must go!

Supra has lost control of the North West

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the North West again calls on Premier Supra Mahumapelo to resign as he has completely lost the trust of the people, and control of the Province. In a motion of no confidence in his leadership, the people of Mahikeng have taken to the streets calling for Supra to go.

Protests in Mahikeng have been ignited by among other factors, the death of two patients outside the Monthshioa Clinic yesterday. The two deceased could allegedly not get medical help due to an ongoing strike by health workers.

Medical staff were on a go-slow strike for weeks due to lack of resources and poor working conditions. All while tenders of millions were allocated to Gupta-linked companies.

Two days ago, NEHAWU evacuated their members from health facilities in Mahikeng and surrounding areas. They have also sent patients, waiting in emergency rooms, home.

The communities also conveyed their utter dismay with the R1 million bursary the Premier’s son allegedly received from Denel.

These communities are voicing their anger against the lack of service delivery, the state of our province and the inadequate health care they are subjected to.

Residents describe Mahikeng as “burning”. Busses have been torched, cars and tyres burned. Currently, roads are blocked.

See pictures here, here and here.

This could have been prevented if Mahumapelo played his role as custodian of the people of North West. His tenure as Premier has been marked by servicing his interests as well as those of the Guptas.

A second protest started near Dithakong and is due to the lack of services. The state of roads, lack of infrastructure, unreliable water supply and general service delivery are some of the main reasons for the protest here.

These service delivery protests are rapidly spreading to other areas.

We respect peoples’ right to protest and can understand their anger and frustration. Too long have they been subjected to an uncaring Premier and ANC government. They battle without jobs, services, houses or support from the ANC. We, however, call on our people not to take the law into their own hands and to obey laws while protesting.

As the DA we know it is time for Total Change. The people of North West deserve better.

Under a DA-led government, we put our communities first, add value to their lives and follow through on our commitments.

Dear Premier, please pack and leave while there is still something left of North West.

Inquiry into Gupta naturalisation postponed due to ANC MPs’ lack of attendance

The Home Affairs Portfolio Committee meeting scheduled for tomorrow has been cancelled due to a lack of quorum. Without ANC members present, the meeting could not go on as planned and this has effectively delayed the inquiry into the Gupta family’s naturalisation.

The meeting was intended to set the Terms of Reference for the Gupta naturalisation matter. This may be a move to postpone the long overdue inquiry and for the Guptas to avoid accountability.

The DA will write to the Chairperson of the Committee, Mr Lemias Mashile, to request that a new date is set urgently and that all MPs make sure they are available so that the terms for the Inquiry can be set.

It is the responsibility of MPs to perform their oversight role and to hold those responsible for aiding and abetting the Guptas to account. That the ANC members of the committee have failed to avail themselves to attend this vital meeting is an indictment of their commitment to getting to the bottom of the matter.