Contribution by Bantu Holomisa, MP and UDM President in the debate on urgent matter of national public importance: Corruption related to COVID-19 tenders

Honourable Speaker
Honourable Members

1. Introduction

The United Democratic Movement (UDM) adds its voice to those that condemn corruption in all its forms.

We are however of the view that the Covid-19 tender corruption is just a continuation of the institutionalised corruption that has been happening for years, albeit that some might argue, it is more despicable.

The UDM had welcomed the President’s announcement that he would be “cleaning up” government’s act, so to speak, but I am afraid it might have been pure rhetoric to try to silence the mounting criticism.

Time will tell, but the UDM has its doubts as the beast that must be fed, the African National Congress (ANC), is perpetually hungry.

2. Corruption to fund a political party

Yes, we know when Chancellor House was formed and saw how billions of Rands were syphoned from the taxpayer through the Eskom/Hitachi deal.

Yes, we heard the corroborating evidence on how Bosasa received government contracts, with the one hand, and funded the African National Congress’ campaigns and the party’s birthday celebrations for former president Zuma, with the other hand.

3. Organising party funding through tenders

The UDM has submitted information to the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into State Capture revealing how a syndicate of connected individuals have hacked into the tender system for the benefit of the ruling party.

They used a marketing company of Nelson Mandela Bay to organise around R28 million of PR and advertising for the ruling party during the 2016 Local Government Elections.

This cabal allegedly consists of people like Crispian Olver (from “How to Steal a City”-fame), Cheslyn Mostert, Grant Pascoe, Vukile Pokwana, to name a prominent few, all of whom have direct links to the highest levels in the ruling party and who apparently continue to work their magic in favour of the ANC.

Thinking of another case is that of Edwin Sodi that “gave” Zweli Mkhize R6.5-million after getting a government contract to remove of asbestos roofing in the Free State.

4. The real orchestrators of state capture

When one considers how the ruling party latches onto government resources like a parasite through its well-placed network, using cadre-deployment, it is easy to see that the real perpetrator of ‘state capture’ is actually the ANC.

5. The money must be paid back

It is imperative that all the moneys that have been pilfered through tenders and tender rigging, as was done with the eye-opening Bosasa shenanigans, in favour of ANC-linked companies, or ANC leaders and ANC-linked individuals or the party itself, must be recuperated.

Yes, they must be charged and sent to jail, but that is not enough. The money that has been stolen from our people has robbed them from years of development and prosperity and that is owed to them, with interest.

I thank you