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.”
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