[imagesource: GCIS / SAPA]
When it comes to state capture in this country, it’s very much a case of what’s a billion here and a billion there between friends.
Perhaps comrades or co-conspirators would be a better word to use.
Watergate is most closely associated with former US president Richard Nixon and his political shenanigans in the early 1970s, but let’s not turn a blind eye to our own Watergate.
As The Daily Maverick puts it, we’re looking at “billions of rands down the drain, 65 senior officials implicated in widespread corruption, and a two-year investigation into the Water and Sanitation Department discarded”.
An enraged whistleblower has now come forward and stated that the department’s unchecked looting of resources is “probably the most perfect and comprehensive example of ANC State Capture”.
One Limpopo project, initiated in 2014 by then-president Jacob Zuma and then-Water Affairs minister Nomvula Mokonyane (both pictured above), has seen costs balloon from the original R90 million figure to in excess of R4 billion.
Stretched across a decade, and involving people in every step of the process, the numbers are staggering:
The investigations commissioned by former Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation minister Lindiwe Sisulu [below] when she took over from Nomvula Mokonyane in 2019 comprise more than two million files, 90,000 folders, hundreds of thousands of emails and documents, and more than 2TB of critical DWS data stored on an external secure server.
The investigations into corruption lasted for two years, involving data and every communication within the DWS from 2011 to 2021.
Following the investigation, irregular and wasteful expenditure within the department between 2019 and 2021 alone was revised from R17 billion to R31 billion.
The whistleblower says that while wasteful expenditure includes overspending linked to negligence and incompetence, irregular expenditure implies “probable deliberate wrongdoing”.
In other words, hands in the taxpayer cookie jar which was basically a free-for-all with little to no repercussions:
…the [Special Investigating Unit] had conducted a number of investigations of their own…
Upon completion, the SIU has since made referrals to the National Prosecution Authority for fraud, corruption and money laundering of 57 individuals and entities. Furthermore, five disciplinary referrals to the entity have been made and 45 administrative action applications have been made for placing the implicated entities and individuals on the National Treasury database of restricted suppliers.
After spending in excess of R36 million to investigate these matters, the disciplinary committee was closed down.
Go ahead and add a few more zeros to that wasteful expenditure figure, would you?
No doubt, when pressed for comment, President Cyril Ramaphosa will say he’s shocked. It’s his go-to response these days.
Anybody who expected Sisulu, who is deeply entrenched in the ANC RET faction, to come down hard on those likely to back a potential shot at ANC presidential candidacy hasn’t been paying attention.
She’s now serving as our Minister of Tourism – another wonderful example of the ANC ‘fail upwards’ policy – so best we keep an eye on that department’s balance sheet.
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