[imagesource: Wikus de Wet / AFP]
The good news is that it’s Friday and, as things stand, load shedding has been suspended, potentially for the entire weekend.
That alone is worth an extra late afternoon drink to celebrate the end of the week.
The bad news? Well, let’s zero in on the curious case of Zandile Gumede, pictured above. She’s the former eThekwini mayor who, on Wednesday, was sworn in as a member of the KZN provincial legislature (MPL).
Just the one problem – Gumede was arrested in May 2019 on charges of corruption, removed as mayor in August 2019, and is currently out on R50 000 bail for her role in a tender scandal worth around R430 million.
I repeat – she’s out on bail, yet has just been sworn in as a member of the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature.
As IOL points out, that should more than cover the pesky bail payment:
According to Outa’s [Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse] project manager in KZN, Tim Tyrrell: “Gumede’s earnings will now drastically increase. As an ordinary councillor she earned a gross salary of about R512 000 per annum. As an MPL in the KwaZulu-Natal legislature, her gross salary will be R1.1 million as well as several perks such as 24 free flights a year and various other allowances.”
Ordinary South Africans are out here fighting to keep their heads above water (often without running water), yet our ruling party is rewarding comrades that are literally in the middle of a criminal trial.
That’s all the more infuriating when you remember that the KZN ANC provincial executive council stated, in March 2019, that “all comrades charged with serious crimes must step aside from their positions of responsibility in government, pending the conclusion of their legal cases”.
Fast forward a year, and you have ANC MECs saying that corrupt party members shouldn’t be charged because it puts them at risk of contracting COVID-19.
You guys remember this?
“South Africa will soon be corruption free.” Cyril Ramaphosa, 26 November 2018
— ANC Quotes (@QuotesAnc) January 13, 2019
“The era of impunity is over. We are now entering the era of accountability. We are now entering the era of consequence.” Cyril Ramaphosa, 5 May 2019
— ANC Quotes (@QuotesAnc) July 27, 2020
Get charged with corruption, and we’ll hand you a new role at double the pay – accountability, indeed.
You might be interested to know that the oxymoronic ANC Integrity Commission is still a thing, although they must have been asleep at the wheel with regards to the likes of Bongani Bongo, Faith Mutambi, and Mosebenzi Zwane, who was recently named in Eskom’s R3,8bn looting refund claim, but bravely soldiers on as an ANC MP.
Ramaphosa’s empty words have led many to question who really holds the power within party structures, and a report by Bloomberg from earlier this month, which was covered by BusinessTech, is worth a second look:
Ramaphosa called for a panel led by former president Kgalema Motlanthe to scrutinise [state contracts for health equipment] deals secured by ANC officials, but was spurned at a meeting of the party’s National Executive Committee, according to three people who attended the gathering and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Instead, they accepted secretary-general Ace Magashule’s suggestion that the ANC’s integrity commission handle the matter, the people said.
Take a look at this ANC “mega scandals” chart and tell me how the ruling party’s self-policing is working out.
Let’s just call it what it is…
The ANC rewards thieves because it is a criminal syndicate. https://t.co/6OdK3LIl0T
— Palesa Morudu (@palesa_morudu) August 19, 2020
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