The Democratic Alliance (DA) has today filed criminal charges at the Cape Town Police station against Deputy Minister of Finance, Sfiso Buthelezi, the former chair of the PRASA board and former PRASA CEO Lucky Montana.
This relates to findings contained in the “leaked version” of forensic reports commissioned by National Treasury into 193 contracts PRASA into between 2012 and 2016.
The findings, read together with 2015 Public Protector’s “Derailed” report, detail instances of possible offences in terms of the Prevention and Combatting of Corrupt Activities Act (PACCA), Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) and Supply Chain Management Rules.
In view of the overwhelming evidence revealed in the Treasury reports, Buthelezi and Montana need to account for corruption that took place under their watch. South Africans need urgent answers on why no one has been held accountable when there is clear evidence of gross abuse of taxpayer funds.
It is unfair that millions of people are made to endure shockingly bad service from Metrorail while the Minister and PRASA dodge accountability.
Our law enforcement agencies cannot afford to continue turning a blind eye to mounting evidence of corruption by the then PRASA board and executives.
The DA will monitor the SAPS investigation to ensure that those responsible for stealing from the public purse are held accountable.
The DA will file criminal charges against Deputy Minister of Finance Sfiso Buthelezi and the former PRASA board which he was chair of, on alleged offences related to financial mismanagement while at PRASA.
The DA will also write to the Chairpersons of the Transport and Finance Committee Portfolios requesting a joint sitting in order to get to the bottom of the serious allegations implicating Buthelezi and the PRASA board which he chaired at the time, in corruption at the entity.
These offences were laid bare in the findings contained in the “leaked version” of forensic reports commissioned by National Treasury, into 193 contracts PRASA entered into between 2012 and 2016, as instructed by the Public Protector’s 2015 “Derailed” report. This is in addition to charges the DA laid against Buthelezi and his brother on the 10th of June 2017 on allegations of corruption.
In the weight of overwhelming evidence as revealed in the Treasury report, the DA will reinstate charges of alleged corruption that we laid against former PRASA, Lucky Montana, on 27 August 2015, which the SAPS subsequently closed as they deemed the matter unfounded.
It is highly suspicious that the National Treasury has been sitting on this report while most of the reports from the auditors into the same investigations were completed in 2016 already.
This is a seeming tactic to delay the release of the report as Deputy Minister Buthelezi is implicated in corruption that took place during his tenure at PRASA.
It is now clear that Montana, unduly used his influence to steal from the public purse in order to enrich himself and his associates. While at the helm of PRASA, he and the PRASA board allegedly flouted the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) and the Supply Chain Management and accessed taxpayers’ monies.
Buthelezi as the then chair of the PRASA board seemingly did little to stop the graft and corruption at the entity where he used his position to allegedly enrich himself and family and he needs to be held accountable.
There is clearly no justification for this and we call upon Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi to ensure that both the SAPS and the Hawks speed up investigations into corruption at the entity.
The DA will continue fighting to re-assure the South African public that we are committed to rooting out corruption at public entities that unashamedly steal from the poor.
The Minister of Finance, Malusi Gigaba, claims to be acting to restore the integrity and ensure public trust in the Public Investment Corporation (PIC).
However, as details of the letter addressed to the Chairperson of the PIC’s Board, Deputy Minister, Sfiso Buthelezi, emerge the strong impression is created that the minister has an ulterior motive, which is ultimately to purge the senior management of the PIC.
The minister seems, most importantly, determined that a forensic investigation, to be conducted by an external audit firm, be launched into the conduct of Dr Dan Matjila, the PIC’s Chief Executive Officer, despite the fact the allegations against him were found to be baseless by the PIC’s Board.
We must act to ensure that the R1.87 trillion, under management by the PIC, is not “captured” by rent seeking factions in the governing party, or by ministers desperate to bailout “zombie” state-owned enterprises, like South African Airways.
I have, therefore, written to the Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Finance, Yunus Carrim, asking him to request the minister:
- to provide a copy of his letter to the Chairperson of the PIC, Deputy Minister of Finance, Sfiso Buthelezi, dated 09 October 2017, setting out his concerns about the PIC; and
- to provide a copy of the terms of reference of the forensic audit to be conducted into contracts concluded by the PIC as soon as possible after they have been submitted to him.
It’s imperative that we have sight of the minister’s letter before the PIC appear before the finance committee on Tuesday 17 October 2017 in Parliament.
I wrote to the Deputy-Minister of Finance, Sfiso Buthelezi, on 01 October 2017 requesting him to launch an investigation to determine who was behind the smear campaign that did so much damage to the reputation of the Public Investment Corporation.
A month ago, a person using what appears to be a pseudonym, “James Nogu”, and using what appears to be a fake e-mail address, “email@example.com”, is believed to have circulated an e-mail claiming to have “uncovered a corrupt relationship between Dr Dan Majila and his girlfriend Miss Pretty Louw”.
However, since then the allegations that were aimed at the Chief Executive Officer of the Public Investment Corporation, Dr Dan Majila, have been found to be baseless and he has been cleared of any wrongdoing.
The deputy minister responded to my request, in a letter dated 02 October 2017, as follows:
“Your proposal about the PIC is appreciated and will be considered as we continue to ensure that the PIC continues with the execution of its mandate.”
We can only hope that the board does the right thing and agrees to launch an investigation and to protect the integrity of the Public Investment Corporation.
Reports that the National Treasury is trying to force the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) to commit to providing an alarming R100 billion to bail out the numerous struggling State-owned Enterprises, including R12 billion for South African Airways (SAA), are disturbing, to say the least.
The PIC oversees the biggest fund in Africa, managing some R1,9 trillion in assets mainly belonging to the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF).
While the DA has repeatedly warned of this possibility in particular for the SAA bailout, these reports confirm the possibility that the Minister and Deputy Minister of Finance, Malusi Gigaba and Sfiso Buthelezi, who is also the Chairperson of the PIC, are planning a raid on the pensions of millions of hard-working government employees and pensioners.
It is therefore deeply concerning that there is also allegedly a plot to remove the PIC’s current CEO, Dan Matjila, which was reportedly a greedy attempt by the Gupta’s to hi-jack the PIC and loot from the people of our country.
Gigaba is yet again seemingly at the centre of a push to put the pensions of millions of government employees at risk, and in the process playing the role of the mismanagement and corruption enabler.
It seems that, given a very open-ended investment mandate given to the PIC by the GEPF, the PIC would be able to make billions of rands of pensioners funds available for “investments” in mismanaged SOE’s such as SAA without the PIC first getting the go-ahead from the GEPF.
SAA has had many turn-around strategies in the past which have not worked and the new ‘plan’ feels like dejavu with Dudu Myeni at the helm of this nightmare. Myeni must go and SAA needs to be put under business rescue so that it can be stabilised and privatised.
Gigaba must not be allowed to plunder the PIC and the future financial security of government employees just to bail out utterly dysfunctional State-owned Enterprises, which have been run into the ground under the ANC.
The DA have finally succeeded in getting the SAA forensic reports that we have pursued doggedly for the last 8 months.
The Deputy Finance Minister, Sfiso Buthelezi, confirmed in writing that he will apparently make good on his word after the DA gave him until the close of business tomorrow to provide the reports as he had promised in May.
We trust that the Deputy Minister will make sure all of the requested reports are provided and not just a select few.
Some of these reports date as far back as 7 years yet have been kept under wraps, most likely as they contain damning confirmation of extensive mismanagement at the state airline.
On almost a weekly basis new allegations of mismanagement and corruption, involving billions in tax payer’s money, emerge about SAA or its subsidiaries.
SAA has lost R15,7 billion over the last five years and lost an average of R12 million every day during April and May 2017. This burden on the taxpayer must stop and exposing the mismanagement of the past is but a small step towards the privatisation of the airline.
The release of the reports is a welcomed first step in the right direction towards uncovering how deep the alleged corruption at SAA runs.
Revelations today that South African Airways (SAA) renewed R4.5 billion in tenders without following proper procedure are only the tip of the iceberg.
That is why, for the last 8 months, the DA has pursued almost all avenues to ensure that the raft of forensic investigation reports into SAA are released to the public.
The DA has submitted a PAIA to National Treasury which was rejected, we have also written to both the Finance minister and the Deputy Finance minister to no avail.
Clearly there is much to hide.
In May this year, the Deputy Finance Minister, Sfiso Buthelezi, committed to provide copies to the Portfolio Committee on Finance, yet he has not been a man of his word and has failed to fulfil his commitment.
The DA will now give Deputy Minister Buthelezi until the close of business on Friday, 21 July 2017, to make good on his commitment and release the reports.
It is only when we know the full extent of the rot at the airline that we can get to work and fix it.
The release of these reports is therefore vital and must be done, as promised.
Yesterday, I was informed by the Chairperson of the SAA Board, Dudu Myeni, after the disastrous meeting of Parliament’s Finance Committee, that she had in her possession copies of forensic investigation reports into SAA, yet failed to table them before the committee.
The DA will today write to the Minister of Finance, Malusi Gigaba, and his Deputy, to demand that the investigation reports be tabled in Parliament immediately.
There can be no further delays particularly if the reports confirm the SA Cabin Crew Association’s (SACCA) allegations of widespread corruption at the national carrier.
For 7 months the DA has been requesting these reports. However, National Treasury has refused to hand them over. Last month, the Deputy Minister of Finance, Sfiso Buthelezi, promised to release these reports to the finance committee, he has failed to make good on this promise.
Given the accusations of corruption that Myeni has recently alluded to – which coincidently was highlighted by SACCA immediately after Myeni appeared before Parliament – the DA finds it surprising that Myeni did not inform the finance committee that she had, apparently in her briefcase, investigation reports which expose the corruption she referred to.
These reports include, but are not limited to:
- An investigation into the sale of surplus materials such as rotables and consumables;
- An investigation into SAA Technical with respect to Commercial aircraft leases between SAA and Mango;
- Investigations into various allegations against primarily SAA’s former CEO, Mr Khaya Ngqula; and
- An investigation into the alleged irregular awarding of a tender for dry snacks by Air Chefs.
If these accusations of corruption are true and are not just tactics to divert attention away from the failures of Myeni in her role as SAA Board Chair, they must be fully interrogated by Parliament.
SAA is on the brink of bankruptcy, with the South African taxpayer very close to having to meet the guarantees of some R 9,0 billion to pay off maturing loans to SAA. If this were to happen the consequences for South Africa’s sovereign ratings will be dire.
There is no longer a choice – SAA must be placed under Business Rescue now before it is too late.
The DA has submitted an application, in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA), for the findings of all the forensic investigations into Deputy Finance Minister, Sfiso Buthelezi, when he was Chairperson of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa).
It is in the best interest of the South African public that these findings be made public and will ensure that any of these damning findings will not be buried. There is a very real and present danger that as Deputy Minister, Mr Sfiso Buthelezi has the power to conceal and bury the findings against him.
Reports recently stated that the forensic investigations findings, going as far back as seven years, show that Prasa Executives, the Board and Buthelezi did not uphold their fiduciary duties when they ignored wasteful, fruitless and irregular spending in multiple tender procurement processes totalling more than R1 billion and violated the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA).
The findings of the investigations were apparently passed on to National Treasury recently and now Finance Minister, Malusi Gigaba, and Buthelezi are left to act on the findings. The Minister is between a rock and a hard place, and only a full public disclosure will ease this for him.
The DA has already opened a criminal case against Buthelezi for apparent involvement in corruption at Prasa. We have also written to Transport Committee Chairperson, Dikeledi Magadzi, to summon the Hawks to update Parliament on its continued Prasa investigations and we have written to Minister Gigaba to pass on the full forensic investigations findings on Buthelezi to the Hawks.
We will continue to push for the corrupt rot at the State Owned Entity (SOE) to be weeded out and will not back down until all implicated government officials are brought to book for any abuse of state resources. If guilty, Buthelezi must be held accountable to the full extent of the law.
Minister Malusi Gigaba must immediately hand over the findings of forensic investigations conducted into Deputy Finance Minister, Sfiso Buthelezi, when he was Chairperson of the Prasa Board, to the Hawks as supplementary evidence into their ongoing investigations into Prasa.
Media reports today claim that the findings of the forensic investigations, dating back as far as 2010, reveal how the Deputy Minister, his Board and Prasa executives, violated various sections of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) and failed to carry out their fiduciary duties when they turned a blind eye to irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure in various tender procurement processes.
These investigations were commissioned by Treasury, following recommendations from the Public Protector’s Derailed report. Findings from these probes have apparently been handed over to Treasury recently – which means that Finance Minister and ironically, his implicated Deputy will now have to deal with these findings.
The DA will write to Minister Gigaba to request that he urgently hand the full dossier on Buthelezi over to the Hawks as we will not allow him to sweep these damning allegations under rug.
It is clear that both the Finance Minister and his Deputy have been placed in their positions to promote the Guptas’ interests, but we will not allow the ANC’s captured Gupta-Ministers to protect one another.
The DA has already written to Transport Committee Chairperson, Dikeledi Magadzi, to request that the Hawks be summoned to Parliament to give an up to date report on its progress in its ongoing investigations into Prasa.
Last week, the DA laid criminal charges against Minister Buthelezi as it appears that the Minister might have been involved in corrupt activities at Prasa.
As a Minister in charge of such an important portfolio, he must be beyond reproach. Sadly this is not the case. The DA will ensure that any Minister or public official that have been implicated in State Capture are investigated to the fullest extent of the law.