Malema, Shivambu get backing from youth league
The African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) national executive committee (NEC) on Sunday reaffirmed its support for leader Julius Malema and party spokesperson Floyd Shivambu in light of charges brought against them over comments made about Botswana.
“The national executive committee is convinced that the issues contained in the charges are political issues which require discussion in the structures of the ANC,” secretary Sindiso Magaqa said in a statement.
He said these “issues” could have been discussed with ANC leadership before charges were laid.
The youth league convened a special NEC meeting on Sunday at Luthuli House in Johannesburg to discuss the charges.
On Friday, the ANC announced the dates for disciplinary hearings for both Malema and Shivambu.
The hearings will take place on August 30 and August 31.
Malema recently said the league would send a team to Botswana to consolidate local opposition parties and help bring about regime change. It believed the government there was “in full cooperation with imperialists” and undermining the “African agenda”.
The ANC publicly rebuked the league who in turn said it did not believe it was in the wrong or going against ANC policy.
Magaqa said the league would, at all times, subject itself to the discipline and policies of the ANC.
It would request an urgent meeting with the leadership of the ANC, he said.
Hawks start digging
At the same time, an investigation into alleged fraud and corruption by Malema has started, the Hawks said on Sunday.
“We are looking into the [Ratanang Family] trust and whatever any avenues our investigation brings us to,” said Hawks spokesperson McIntosh Polela.
“We will not be taking cues from the media in our investigation. We have our own ways of finding stuff out.”
He said the Hawks made the decision to initiate the investigation over a week ago.
“There is a lot that we have to go through, so it is difficult for us to say when the investigation would be completed. We are not committing to a specific date yet.”
He said the unit would take action against Malema based on the results of the investigation.
The Mail & Guardian on August 19 revealed new evidence that Malema’s engineering company was demanding massive kickbacks for arranging tenders in Limpopo.
Insiders, who have broken ranks but asked not to be named, described a system whereby On-Point Engineers dangled tenders from the provincial roads and transport department in front of would-be contractors and then demanded to come in as a silent partner, taking a large cut.
The M&G earlier revealed that On-Point, co-owned by Malema’s trust, has been running the roads and transport department’s outsourced “programme management unit” since 2009.
The unit—and therefore On-Point—helps administer the department’s multibillion-rand budget to plan, contract for and oversee road works.
Both the department and On-Point have previously denied that this enables On-Point to influence who gets which contracts from the department. Now the insiders—several close to On-Point and two contracting company bosses—insist that this is indeed the case and that On-Point abuses that position by demanding to be included secretly in the contracts it helps to dish out.
This, they charge, On-Point does through verbal or written agreements with contractors specifying that the company will receive as much as 70% of the profit, supposedly for doing a portion of the work.
The M&G has obtained one such “memorandum of understanding”, drafted, allegedly, on the instruction of Lesiba Gwangwa, On-Point’s chief executive and Malema’s long-time business partner.
The department is already paying On-Point R52-million to run the unit over a three-year period. This should exclude it from acting as a paid contractor to the department on the contracts it helps to administer. The arrangement to come in as a silent partner with other contractors appears to be a deliberate way around that.—Sapa, M&G