The ANC leadership has, of late, rudely awakened to the real possibility of a humiliating electoral defeat at the hands of a strong, combined opposition. They are cognisant of the fact that the pre-election euphoria of a liberation movement ascending to power has virtually subsidised and supplanted by appalling voter apathy and disillusionment.
Voters throughout the country seriously question the integrity of ANC leaders who only yesterday made election promises that reverberated throughout the length and breadth of South Africa. The luxurious trappings and cosy seats of power have diverted the attention of ANC leaders from pre-occupation with apartheid imbalances and backlogs to the amassing of personal power and wealth. They are endowing themselves in every conceivable way with the abundant riches so easily available to themselves to the utter disgust of the weak and poor who have suffered the loss of limb and life for the emancipation of the country. They flaunt their newly acquired power in the form of flashy, elegant and executive cars and mansions in the best leafy suburbs of our First World cities, while millions of our people bathe in seas of poverty and wallow in famine.
Are they better or worse off than homeland leaders and FW de Klerk? Crass incompetence, sleaze and corruption are the order of the day. Crime is rampant and dissuades investors from considering the country as a potential destination for scarce investment funds. Millions are retrenched to swell the ranks of the unemployed. All this, to the arrogant and complacent ANC leadership, is business as usual. They are not perturbed at all by the plight of the indigent masses. This is to be expected of a leadership whose wallets are ever burgeoning because of the constant annual salary rises they grant themselves.
In 1994 alone they granted themselves more than 100% salary increments. Is this done in the name of the liberation struggle and politics for the suffering masses of our people? Certainly not. The question to be asked is what is the effect of these huge salary increases for cabinet ministers on the national fiscus? Our cabinet ministers are among the best paid in the world! Their lifestyle is vastly superior and grand compared to their peers in the industrialised nations of the West.
If the South African electorate is deluded into voting the ANC to power again in 1999, the country would be put firmly and irrecoverably on the path to financial ruin and economic destruction. The warning signals are already there for everybody to see. The aborted voluntary severance package is a glaring example of the ANC leadership’s lack of vision and their wavering commitment to an efficient and effective civil service. The best civil servants have been bribed to quit the government service in a crazy bid to pave the way for the ANC unemployed loyalists and pals of the ministers. This is the trend at provincial and national levels of government.
The consequence of this ill-conceived move is the visible lack of delivery and baffling levels of incompetence. As a result the national and provincial governments spend billions on acquiring the services of consultants to perform duties which are supposed to be the domain of the civil service. This is the most extreme form of corruption – that is, the deliberate appointment of pals to key well-paying jobs in the government without any track record in administration and the necessary skills and experience.
The ANC, in an effort to divert attention from its failures and shortcomings, accuses me and many other former leaders of corruption. I shall deal with these charges when I delve in detail into their misrepresentations of myself in their booklet.
There are many contradictions within the ANC leadership. The vicious power struggles among some individuals seems to negate the much-vaunted unwavering commitment to the total socio-economic emancipation of the broad masses and the concomitant betterment of their living conditions. Personal grandeur and self-aggrandisement are the order of the day. They have been in power only since May 1994, but behold, some of them are already multi-millionaires and have bonds worth millions of Rands. The vexing question to serious observer of the country’s political scene is, where do these leaders derive these vast sources of income. Is it not possible that some of the funds from overseas donors earmarked for anti-apartheid activities and the ANC’s electioneering efforts have been siphoned off for private use by individual leaders of the organisation? Something is rotten in the state of ANC’s affairs. It was for this reason that I alerted Prof Kader Asmal in writing in 1995, as “Mr Clean” of the ANC regarding an allegation of a serious international financial irregularity that was attributed to a prominent ANC member. One wonders what happened to his investigations. Instead ANC’s “Mr Clean” was busy advising their “kangaroo court” to drive me out of their organisation for narrating the historical events of Transkei Bantustan in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission last year.
It is an open secret that since the 1994 the ANC Conference until my expulsion from the organisation no financial statement has ever been ready for tabling either at the 1994 Conference or at National Executive Committee (NEC) meetings. The truth of the matter is that millions of Rands could not be accounted for, and books could therefore not be balanced.
My advice to the delegates to the forthcoming ANC Conference in December 1997 is that they should demand fully audited financial statements of the ANC’s London account. If they fail to elicit a proper and satisfactory response in this regard, they should solicit the assistance of the Reserve Bank of South Africa who would be in a position to make informed findings and trace recipients of funds from the London account.
It is no small wonder that we read in daily newspapers and weekly papers of the boundless graft in the provincial- and national governments under ANC leadership. Billions of Rands have gone down the drain and they cannot be accounted for. The good example is the ±R2 billion spent on consultants, yet the administration situation continues to deteriorate every year. The question is, do the ANC leaders in government really engage consultants, or are there some bogus consultants to whom funds are paid and in turn channelled back to the coffers of the organisation or to themselves? Are bodies like Thebe, an ANC investment arm, getting government contracts and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) associated with the ANC also taking part in this looting spree?
The commissions of inquiry, like the Heath Commission, should not only concentrate on the corruption that took place under Matanzima, Holomisa and other leaders, but should immediately attend to the cesspool of corruption that has been taking place under the ANC government since 1994. The massive retrenchment of experienced civil servants has given rise to a fertile ground for the spreading of corrupt practices as MECs and National ministers appoint their Directors General (DGs) and staff, a duty which should be performed by an independent Public Service Commission. Currently Zola Skweyiya’s department does not know whether it moves backwards or forward. At times the apologists of this fiasco and national disgrace euphemistically allude to this as affirmative action when they try to disguise the appointment of their friends and relatives. As far as I know there are no set standards and policies guiding the implementation of the so-called affirmative action. Instead, we notice that the appointments of key personnel in senior positions are not on merit but are along ethnic lines i.e., an Indian minister would fill top posts with Indians and Xhosa or Zulu ministers would recruit Xhosas or Zulus respectively to fill the said posts.
Let me demonstrate how their incompetent appointees have led to the draining of state coffers. According to the audit report of the North West Province released on 29 May 1997 the following emerges:
· Premier Molefe’s office alone was unable to produce backup documentation for R3,5 million which had been spent;
· No indication that tender board approval was obtained for an R18 million RDP project;
· In one department, Transport and Civil Aviation, vouchers could not be produced for expenditure of R135 million, which made up 60% of its total spending;
· Unauthorised spending in the whole administration totalled R367,3 million, which included R11,7 million two-way radio equipment bought by the Department of Public Works and Roads;
· The audit had also shown that Members of the Provincial Legislature were in arrears with their housing rentals;
· At the Department of Health, vouchers for about R19 million could not be submitted for audit purposes;
· Payment of about R14 million had been made on photocopies of invoices. These included individual payments of R4,9 million, R2,9 million and R928 800.
The graft delineated above takes place even in national departments and other provinces, for example, the R14 million Sarafina Scandal. Your attention is also drawn to the Kleuver Auditor-General’s Report, which demonstrated the poor performance of the national departments. In the Eastern Cape, for instance, the tender was corruptly awarded to Balraz-Pensecure whose quotation was R164 million more than that of other tenders. This had to be overturned by a court of law. At what cost? How about the Feeding Scheme Scandal?
In the Mpumalanga Province, which is notorious for unbridled levels of graft, R185 million was awarded to Motheo Construction, an unregistered company headed by a pal of a national housing minister. The Northern Province under Ramatlhodi is not even worth writing about because of the daily exposure of corruption. The above breakdown is just the tip of the iceberg.
In the light of these nauseating exposés and financial scams the ANC leadership should bow their heads in shame and are the last to muster courage and point dirty fingers at others accusing them of corruption. It is high time that the nation becomes more vigilant regarding the role played by the spouses, immediate families and friends of the ANC elite and dubious consultants. One need not to be a genius to realise that the parties referred to above have a propensity of becoming either conduit pipes “economic Trojan Horses” for the benefit of the elite.
If this looting spree cannot be stopped in its incipient stages, I fear that by 1999 more billions or trillions of Rands would have gone down the drain. This is indeed a contradiction of what is contained in the 1994 ANC election manifesto. The question many are asking is: What is the difference between ANC leadership and National Party (NP) and its homeland leaders who were dubbed by the ANC as bunch of corrupt leaders? Remember the old German saying: “the troughs have changed, however the pigs have remained the same”.
Despite the problems of limited capacity of the then Transkei Military Government, and frustrations by the then NP Government that defended the perpetrators of corruption in the territory, we did manage to bring corrupt elements before the courts of law. Court records will confirm this. With the ANC government, reports of corruption only end in newspaper banner lines. Ministers and MECs in whose departments’ corruption has reared its ugly head are neither sacked nor reprimanded. Instead, they are showered with praise for being good.
I would now like to respond to the allegations contained in their booklet point by point.