/ 16 September 2007

SACP takes ‘dim view’ of Madisha

A South African Communist Party (SACP) task team set up to investigate a controversial alleged donation by businessman Charles Modise has found no credible evidence that the donation ever existed, the party said on Sunday.

The SACP said its political bureau (PB) took a ”dim view” of the conduct of member Willie Madisha in the way he had handled the controversy since it become public.

”Accordingly, the PB has referred this matter to the SACP’s national disciplinary committee,” the SACP said.

Madisha is also the president of the Congress of South African Trade Unions.

Last month Modise laid a complaint against the SACP with the police, alleging a R500 000 donation made in 2002, and given to Madisha, had never reached the SACP.

Madisha insisted that he had given the money to the SACP. He said the recipient of the money, carried in two refuse bags, was SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande.

Nzimande has denied these allegations.

In a statement on Sunday, the SACP said: ”The political bureau of the South African Communist Party met in Johannesburg on Saturday September 15 to receive the report of the task team established by the central committee in August to investigate an alleged donation of 500 000 to the SACP. As he had been the subject of allegations, our general secretary, comrade Blade Nzimande, was, quite properly, excused from attending the PB.”

The task team, chaired by SACP national treasurer Phumulo Masualle, had been given 21 days to complete its work. It interviewed a number of people, including Madisha, Nzimande, Gwede Mantashe, Jeremy Cronin and two former SACP national treasurers, Phillip Dexter and Thaba Mufamadi. The task team also scrutinised SACP financial records.

”Without exception, all of those who gave evidence to the task team situated the allegations within the context of a politically poisoned environment and a sustained offensive against the SACP and its leadership.

”The main finding of the task team is that, on the basis of all of the information before it, it could not establish any credible evidence that such a donation had ever existed.

”Furthermore, the task team noted inconsistencies in the accounts provided to it by comrade Willie Madisha in regard to, amongst other things, his contacts with the businessman, Charles Modise,” the SACP said.

Professional auditing assistance

The PB thanked the task team for completing its work in difficult circumstances, and accepted its principal findings and recommendations.

”However, the PB added, to ensure that to the best of our ability the SACP leaves no stone unturned, the party should seek professional auditing assistance to validate, or otherwise, the allegation of a R500 000 transaction.

”Specifically, this would require scrutiny of personal and/or family bank accounts of Charles Modise, and comrades Willie Madisha and Blade Nzimande. Comrade Nzimande, in his evidence to the task group, and comrade Madisha, in a subsequent follow-up, have indicated their preparedness to cooperate fully with such a validation process.”

Without pre-empting the findings of such an audit into the alleged transaction, the PB expressed its serious concern that Madisha, in the five years between July 2002 and July 2007, during which time he served on the party’s central committee, the PB and the financial committee, had never once raised this matter with any SACP structure.

”The PB also took a dim view of the conduct of comrade Willie Madisha in how he has handled this matter since it has become public. Accordingly, the PB has referred this matter to the SACP’s national disciplinary committee.

”The PB wishes once more to reassure its members, supporters and the public at large that the SACP’s own financial records for the relevant years have been fully audited and reported upon.

”The PB also reaffirms that it is the party’s longstanding policy and practice to receipt all donations received and deposit them in the SACP’s bank account,” the SACP said. — Sapa