Scan­dalous scourge of cor­rup­tion

Finweek English Edition - - The Finweek -

BIG-TICKET TEN­DERS IS­SUED

in the run-up to this year’s Soc­cer World Cup are start­ing to grab head­lines as in­ves­ti­ga­tions re­veal what could be­come a scan­dal of arms deal pro­por­tions. With just a few weeks be­fore kick­off, an in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the In­sti­tute for Se­cu­rity Stud­ies (ISS) has re­vealed the ma­jor em­pow­er­ment part­ner in the R3,4bn Soc­cer City sta­dium is a for­mer se­cu­rity guard, Glad­win Khangale, who lives in a town­ship near Hei­del­berg in Gaut­eng.

Khangale didn’t pay any money for his 26% stake in Global Event Man­age­ment (GEM), which was awarded the ten­der to build the sta­dium by the Jo­han­nes­burg City Coun­cil. While he de­nies own­ing any shares or hav­ing any­thing to do with the com­pany, GEM has re­port­edly listed him as its “hu­man re­sources ex­ec­u­tive”.

Em­pow­er­ment fronting is one of the ar­eas flagged as a source of cor­rup­tion by the ISS re­port into con­flict­ing in­ter­ests and the Soc­cer World Cup that will soon be launched. When run­away World Cup bud­gets were first ap­proved for the tour­na­ment, and when ten­ders for the ex­trav­a­ganza started to be handed out, an ISS re­port warned: “With the award­ing of the first ten­ders a com­plex tango has al­ready be­gun be­tween Govern­ment and the cor­po­ra­tions.

“There are three pri­mary fac­tors that make large con­struc­tion projects linked to 2010 vul­ner­a­ble to cor­rup­tion. Firstly, it’s the size and scope of the project. This isn’t limited to build­ing some of the largest and most so­phis­ti­cated sta­dia in Africa – bil­lions more will be spent on roads, rail projects, such as Gau­train, and ex­ten­sions to var­i­ous air­ports. Cor­rupt busi­ness­men are prob­a­bly al­ready swarm­ing to the honey pot.”

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