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CityPress - - News - ANDISIWE MAKINANA andisiwe.makinana@city­press.co.za

he chair­per­son of Par­lia­ment’s fi­nance watch­dog is be­ing ac­cused of ac­cept­ing cash from the ANC in re­turn for le­niency to­wards the party’s ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Themba Godi, pres­i­dent of the African Peo­ple’s Con­ven­tion (APC), is the only mem­ber of the op­po­si­tion who chairs a par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tee.

This is in keep­ing with a long-stand­ing ANC tra­di­tion in Par­lia­ment of giv­ing this post on the stand­ing com­mit­tee on public ac­counts (Scopa) to an op­po­si­tion MP.

APC mem­bers are now al­leg­ing that Godi is in a cor­rupt re­la­tion­ship with the ANC, and money is ex­changed in re­turn for him, as Scopa chair, to sweep the ANC’s mis­de­meanours un­der the car­pet.

The ANC and Godi have re­jected th­ese claims as hav­ing no ba­sis, with him say­ing they em­anate from a con­flict in the APC.

A few APC mem­bers, led by Godi’s deputy, Ramahlalerwa Mathume, say Godi’s sup­port of Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma, the ANC in Par­lia­ment and on the Nkandla mat­ter was not part of his man­date, but part of a per­sonal deal.

They claim the deal in­volved Godi re­ceiv­ing R605 000 in cash from the ANC to reg­is­ter his party with the In­de­pen­dent Elec­toral Com­mis­sion be­fore gen­eral elec­tions last year, and an­other R500 000 that was al­legedly paid to Godi by the ANC af­ter the elec­tions.

The group has ap­proached the South Gaut­eng High Court to force the party to open its books to in­de­pen­dent au­di­tors.

In court pa­pers, Mathume and six other se­nior APC mem­bers claim that although the party has ex­isted since 2007, no of­fi­cial au­dit had been done.

Mathume said in court pa­pers: “I am aware that in the re­cent past a do­na­tion of ap­prox­i­mately R600 000 has been made to the APC, but nei­ther the trea­surer-gen­eral nor any of the other re­spon­dents have sat­is­fac­to­rily ex­plained as to where th­ese funds have been al­lo­cated or where they have come from.”

In a let­ter sent to APC branches, Mathume also claimed that part of the deal with the ANC was that Godi would or­gan­ise smaller par­ties in Par­lia­ment to sup­port it in coun­ter­ing the unity of so-called anti-ANC par­ties in Par­lia­ment, and he would also de­fend and sup­port the ANC in Par­lia­ment him­self.

Mathume claims Godi threat­ened those who ob­jected with sus­pen­sion and even ex­pul­sion from the party. But Godi has de­nied this. While he of­ten sup­ports the ANC and its stance in Par­lia­ment, he re­jects the ac­cu­sa­tions that he was do­ing so based on bribes or a deal be­tween him and the ANC.

He said this was a mat­ter of strat­egy, tac­tics and choice, not one of ig­no­rance.

“The sim­plic­ity of the public dis­course re­ally gob­s­macks me,” he said.

“Ide­o­log­i­cally, we are very clear and very dis­tinct from the ANC.

“If you had to go to Hansard and read all my speeches, you will find a com­mon thread, which is about the in­ter­ests of the African peo­ple and about not for­get­ting the le­gacy of the past and how it is still very much a part of our present.

“We [the APC] want to de­bunk the myth that our prob­lems in this coun­try started in 1994 when the ANC came into power.

“That is what white peo­ple want us to do, to be­lieve that our prob­lems came with the ANC and they are ab­solved of ev­ery­thing,” he said. Godi de­nied tak­ing or be­ing of­fered money by the ANC. He said th­ese al­le­ga­tions were made by peo­ple who were un­der­go­ing dis­ci­plinary pro­cesses for not con­tribut­ing their share as APC mu­nic­i­pal coun­cil­lors.

He said Mathume was on his way out of the party. His fate was to be de­cided yes­ter­day.

“We have found he and a few oth­ers have formed their own party, so th­ese be­come the sen­ti­ments of some­one who is out of the party and wants to throw as much mud as pos­si­ble.”

Godi said the al­le­ga­tions had never been raised be­fore, but were only emerg­ing now that mem­bers were fac­ing the axe.

He said peo­ple who knew lit­tle about him were un­der­min­ing his in­tegrity and deep sense of com­mit­ment to the cause. “I re­spect my­self suf­fi­ciently not to be bought this way or that. “To go to the ANC or any other party and say that we are ready to pros­ti­tute our­selves as long as we get money … that is so out of char­ac­ter for me,” he said.

“There is no way we could have gone to the ANC to look for money.”

PHOTO: LEON SADIKI

STOP POINT­ING FIN­GERS APC pres­i­dent Themba Godi says the al­le­ga­tions be­ing made against him come from peo­ple who are out of the party and want to throw as much mud as pos­si­ble

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