Of course, the call to “pay back the money” was a legitimate demand for the return of taxpayer money illegitimately used to fund Nkandla, the “Gupta industry” and other sinister personal gains.
Right now, there are other monies that should be paid back; that should be returned from whence it came. The Steinhoff debacle shows that corruption and unethical behaviour place people in the path of clear and present danger.
The Public Investment Corporation (PIC) who invests and manages funds on behalf of the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) announced on 13 December, a week after the Steinhoff collapse that: “It is important to note that notwithstanding the collapse in the Steinhoff share, the GEPF portfolio remains financially healthy, because of its diversified nature. It is also important to note that GEPF members’ benefits will not be changed by these developments, given that the GEPF is a defined benefit pension fund.”
GEPF’s Steinhoff loss was 0.6% of its portfolio on 6 December. This means that for every R100 of GEPF value sixty cents were lost. Even if this could be described as a manageable setback, the reality remains that the Steinhoff debacle cost the PIC R12 billion!
This is a dangerous situation, where civil servants’ pensions are adversely affected no matter who downplays the scenario. The Steinhoff powers that be should provide guarantees that this R12 billion will not disappear into nothing and that the money shall be paid back to government employees.
On another note, perhaps the Steinhoff saga is also a turning point in private political party funding looking at the African National Congress and the Democratic Alliance’s refusal to lay bare their books. If perhaps they, or any other political party, benefitted in any way from Steinhoff they should also be held to account. Given that the PIC has invested in Steinhoff, each and every political leader, should own up and confirm or deny that their parties (and/or functionaries) have accepted money from any source associated with Steinhoff profits.
Any and all Steinhoff related money, and every cent, must be returned, with interest, to the coffers of the providers of compromised money, to set off that R12 billion loss in government pensions. Why should workers lose money to greed and corruption?
Mr Bantu Holomisa, MP and UDM President