Advocate MR Ramabulana
Government Employees Pension Ombud
PO Box 11005

Dear Advocate Ramabulana

Mass complaint regarding the outstanding pensions of thousands of former Ciskei and Transkei civil servants, and redress

1. I would firstly like to congratulate you on your appointment as the Government Employees Pension Ombud. You, your colleagues and staff have very important work ahead of you and I wish you well in this endeavour. I shall make the time to come and have a cup of coffee with you and the management at the Government Employees Pension Fund to discuss the outcomes of the Mpati Commission at some point in time.

2. That said, the matter which I wish to address with you in this letter stems from the complaints of civil servants who had been in the employ of the so-called TBVC States, in particular those who worked for the Ciskei, Transkei and Venda governments.

3. Thousands of Ciskei and Transkei governmental employees have not received their dues after they had been integrated into the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) since May 1996.

You might already be aware of those who had been in the employ of the Venda government, who have been engaged in a lengthy court battle around their pensions and some have tragically passed away, such as Mr Tshimangadzo Tshiololi, one of the original complainants to the Public Protector.

Another organisation that seems to fit in this category, whose representatives have approached me, is the Civil Servants Pension Redress Movement who regards themselves as “…the official voice of ALL former civil servants in South Africa and those civil servants who previously served in Namibia (formerly South West Africa).” They have however made contact with the Speaker of the National Assembly and seem to be forwarding their cause through her office at this point in time.

4. After having read the prescriptions, I understand that the Government Employees Pension Ombud (GEPO) deals with complaints in a particular manner, but this situation calls for a different approach and I would welcome your guidance on how this massive and critical problem should be tackled.

5. Wherever the problems are (or were), if it be an administrative failure of some kind at the GEPF or poor delegation on the part of the Department of Public Service and Administration and/or at the Public Service Co-ordinating Bargaining Council, which had apparently been part of the transition process, a solution must be found to release these funds as soon as possible.

6. These civil servants have struggled for years to be heard and have also, for these 25 years, not been compensated as they should have and deserve. It is almost immoral, if not criminal, that they have been denied what is owed to them.

7. Furthermore, I should think there should be some form of redress for the years for which they have not received the monies that were due to them and in cases where beneficiaries have passed on, their loved ones who have remained behind should be compensated.

8. I have attached to this letter several spreadsheets [not included in this post due to sensitivity of information] that the organisation Former Transkei/Ciskei Civil Servants, which has approached me for assistance, has compiled that provides some detailed information on the affected former civil servants under discussion. For more information, Ms R Ndabambi, chairperson of the Former Transkei/Ciskei Civil Servants can be reached at …………………

For more information, the Venda group’s contact is Mr Jabby Legege who can be reached at ‎…….. and…………

9. I sincerely hope that your office will take the time and make the effort to sort out this utter mess and I hope to hear from you soon.

Yours faithfully
Mr Bantu Holomisa, MP
President of the United Democratic Movement

Copied to:

• Director-General of National Treasury, Mr Dondo Mogajane
• Principal Executive Officer of the Government Employees Pension Fund, Mr Musa Mabesa