‘Where is our R26bn?’

NEW PARTY SAYS THULI PRO­TECTS WHITE CASH

The Citizen (KZN) - - FRONT PAGE - Valeska Abreu

R26 bil­lion that dis­ap­peared in apartheid years is ‘money for our peo­ple’.

Re­source con­straints were among some of the is­sues hold­ing up the fi­nal­i­sa­tion of the public pro­tec­tor’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion into al­le­ga­tions that bil­lions of rands dis­ap­peared in the fi­nal years of apartheid.

The al­le­ga­tions stem from a 1997-re­port by UK-based pri­vate in­ves­ti­ga­tions com­pany Ciex, which claimed to iden­tify about R26 bil­lion which was stolen, laun­dered or held off­shore il­le­gally by apartheid-era bankers, arms deal­ers and se­nior politi­cians, ac­cord­ing to opense­crets.org.za

De­spite be­ing told about the public pro­tec­tor’s con­straints at the end of Septem­ber, Andile Mngxi­tama and about 12 mem­bers of his newly formed Black First Land First party went to the public pro­tec­tor’s of­fice in Hat­field yesterday to stage a sit-in.

Mngxi­tama ar­rived at Thuli Madon­sela’s of­fices just af­ter lunch time de­mand­ing to meet with the public pro­tec­tor, who was locked in a meet­ing with Prasa rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

Mngxi­tama was told Madon­sela was pre­par­ing to travel to Cape Town and could not meet with the group. He re­fused to meet with the deputy public pro­tec­tor, as well as sug­ges­tions to set a date for a meet­ing at a later stage.

The group in­vaded the re­cep­tion area, chanted and danced hold­ing plac­ards call­ing for an­swers into the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“Thuli is a liar” and “Pro­tect­ing white cap­i­tal­ism” were two of the posters, while another called for for­mer pres­i­dent Thabo Mbeki to “tell the truth”.

“We are de­mand­ing ac­count­abil­ity for the R26 bil­lion that was stolen. That’s money for our peo­ple that should be for the poor. Why is she (Madon­sela) pro­tect­ing the whites?” said Mngxi­tama.

He ac­cused Madon­sela of de­lib­er­ately de­lay­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

It’s un­der­stood Adv Paul Hoff­man re­quested the public pro­tec­tor to look into al­le­ga­tions that bil­lions of rands were “si­phoned” from public funds dur­ing the apartheid regime.

The of­fice’s spokesper­son, Kgalalelo Ma­sibi, said ini­tially the public pro­tec­tor had taken a de­ci­sion not to take up the mat­ter and com­mu­ni­cated her de­ci­sion and rea­sons to the com­plainant.

Ma­sibi said Madon­sela hoped to com­plete the in­ves­ti­ga­tion by year-end and is­sue a re­port by March. – [email protected] citizen.co.za

Pic­ture: Alais­ter Rus­sell

Black First Land First mem­bers de­mand a re­sponse to a probe into al­leged mis­man­age­ment of R26 bil­lion ac­cu­mu­lated in the last decade of the apartheid gov­ern­ment. The public pro­tec­tor’s of­fice has not fin­ished the re­port due to re­source con­straints.

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