Scandalous scourge of corruption
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.”