ANC is us­ing ten­der money for votes – SACP

CityPress - - News - SIZWE SAMA YENDE sizwe.yende@city­press.co.za

The Mpumalanga branch of the SA Com­mu­nist Party (SACP) has ac­cused Premier League prov­inces of flout­ing pro­cure­ment pro­ce­dures to raise money to boost their cam­paign in the na­tional ANC elec­tive con­fer­ence.

The party’s pro­vin­cial ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee (PEC) has called on Fi­nance Min­is­ter Pravin Gord­han and Pub­lic Pro­tec­tor Bu­sisiwe Mkhwe­bane to in­ves­ti­gate pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment finances in Mpumalanga, the Free State and North West, fol­low­ing the out­come of the 2015/16 Au­di­tor-Gen­eral’s re­port that showed ir­reg­u­lar ex­pen­di­ture in the prov­inces had es­ca­lated to R5.8 bil­lion.

The pre­miers of these prov­inces – David “DD” Mabuza (Mpumalanga), Ace Ma­gashule (Free State) and Supra Mahumapelo (North West) – are al­lies of Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma and have al­legedly joined forces to cam­paign for the elec­tion of a new ANC pres­i­dent and for na­tional ex­ec­u­tive mem­bers who have a soft spot for the be­lea­guered pres­i­dent at the De­cem­ber con­fer­ence.

Mpumalanga ANC pro­vin­cial ex­ec­u­tive and ANC Youth League (ANCYL) pres­i­dent Collen Maine has al­ready of­fered Mabuza the league’s sup­port in his bid to be­come deputy pres­i­dent. African Union Com­mis­sion chair­per­son Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is tipped to be­come party pres­i­dent and the KwaZu­luNatal ANCYL has al­ready pub­licly de­clared her as its pre­ferred suc­ces­sor to her for­mer hus­band.

The SACP be­lieves that the ir­reg­u­lar ex­pen­di­ture – which Au­di­tor-Gen­eral Kimi Mak­wetu’s 2015/16 re­port high­lighted, and which was a re­sult of non­com­pli­ance with sup­ply chain man­age­ment pro­ce­dures – was di­verted to­wards the Premier League’s “fac­tional agenda”.

Mpumalanga’s ir­reg­u­lar ex­pen­di­ture in­creased by R1 bil­lion from the pre­vi­ous fi­nan­cial year and was R3.9 bil­lion in 2015/16. The Free State saw an in­crease from R1.6 bil­lion to R1.9 bil­lion, while ir­reg­u­lar ex­pen­di­ture in North West was R13.3 mil­lion.

Mak­wetu noted that 98% of the ir­reg­u­lar ex­pen­di­ture was a direct re­sult of un­com­pet­i­tive or un­fair pro­cure­ment pro­cesses. This means that of­fi­cials favoured cer­tain bid­ders over oth­ers and bent pro­ce­dures to award them ten­ders.

Mpumalanga SACP sec­re­tary Bon­akele Ma­juba said the be­hav­iour of the Premier League had been “sus­pi­cious”, hence the PEC’s call for the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“They have a lot of money that is used to fund con­fer­ences, whether they are ANCYL or ANC Women’s League. Now, there is a de­ci­sive ANC con­fer­ence com­ing up and these prov­inces are found by the Au­di­tor-Gen­eral to have in­curred ir­reg­u­lar ex­pen­di­ture. This can’t be a co­in­ci­dence,” Ma­juba said.

“Money pol­i­tics is pre­dom­i­nant in these prov­inces. They even trans­fer money to other prov­inces to in­flu­ence con­fer­ence out­comes. The Au­di­tor-Gen­eral’s find­ings must be fur­ther in­ves­ti­gated be­cause the money comes di­rectly from the pub­lic cof­fers,” he said.

Ma­juba said that the Premier League’s cam­paign to wres­tle power was show­ing in Mpumalanga, where a mas­sive re­cruit­ment drive had been un­der­taken. This drive aims to bal­loon mem­ber­ship to be­tween 1 000 and 2 500 per branch. This will guar­an­tee Mpumalanga thou­sands of del­e­gates at the 2017 elec­tive con­fer­ence, which will be able to sway the out­come.

City Press has seen a text mes­sage be­ing cir­cu­lated to busi­ness­peo­ple in Emalahleni to make do­na­tions to­wards the re­cruit­ment drive. “They sim­ply want a name and ID num­ber of a per­son and they pay the mem­ber­ship fee. Where does the money come from?” Ma­juba said.

Mpumalanga ANC sec­re­tary, Mandla Ndlovu, said the ANC would dis­cuss the SACP’s con­cerns within the al­liance struc­tures.

“It will be un­for­tu­nate if we have to re­spond through the me­dia,” Ndlovu said.

The Free State ANC sec­re­tary, Thabo Meeko, said his prov­ince was “dis­gusted” and “dis­ap­pointed” by the SACP’s state­ment. “They give an im­pres­sion that ir­reg­u­lar ex­pen­di­ture is tan­ta­mount to cor­rup­tion. Most of the ir­reg­u­lar ex­pen­di­ture em­anates from legacy is­sues which the prov­ince is cor­rect­ing,” Meeko said.

North West ANC sec­re­tary Dakota Le­goete promised to re­spond but did not. And Ma­juba con­firmed that the PEC had taken a res­o­lu­tion that the SACP should con­test elec­tions in­de­pen­dently of the ANC in 2019.

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