ANC rogues’ gallery

The ANC elected its new 80-member national executive committee (NEC) at December’s Polokwane conference.

The Mail & Guardian opened the ruling party’s closet and scary skeletons came tumbling out, including those of seven criminals elected to the party’s second-highest decision-making structure.

In total, 16% of the NEC are either post-apartheid convicted criminals or suspects in criminal investigations or trials. By adding those who have been disciplined or moved, and those with dark clouds of unanswered questions hanging over their heads, the figure shifts to 29%.

Then there are three members who have had run-ins with the law (or disciplinary structures), but were cleared by the courts or commissions of inquiry. Adding these to the former lot, the figure reaches 33% of the NEC.

The criminals

1. Winnie Madikizela-Mandela

(Number 1 on the NEC: fraud and kidnapping)

A kidnapper and fraudster, Madikizela-Mandela has escaped jail twice. She was charged in 1991 with the kidnapping and murder of 14-year-old Stompie Seipei.

She was convicted of kidnapping and sentenced to six years’ imprisonment. The sentence was reduced to a fine of R15 000 on appeal.

Madikizela-Mandela’s next run-in with the law was in 2001 when she was charged with obtaining loans for non-existent ANC Women’s League employees. She was found guilty on 43 counts of fraud and 25 of theft.

Madikizela-Mandela was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment. The theft charges were overturned on appeal and her sentence reduced by 18 months and suspended for five years.

2. Tony Yengeni

(Number 21: fraud)

The ANC’s former chief whip in February 2003 pleaded guilty to a charge of fraud after failing to declare a 47% discount on his Mercedes-Benz 4×4 to Parliament.

Michael Woerfel, former South African head of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS), approved the discount. EADS tendered for lucrative arms deal contracts.

Yengeni served 20 weeks of his four-year sentence.

3. Bathabile Dlamini

(Number 29: fraud)

The secretary general of the ANC Women’s League is a Travelgate fraudster who pleaded guilty in October 2006.

As an ANC MP, Dlamini abused her parliamentary travel vouchers (which amounted to R254 000). She used them to pay for hotel accommodation, car rentals and other benefits.

Dlamini was given a five-year suspended sentence and fined R120 000 payable over 24 months.

4. Enoch Godongwana

(Number 34: drunk driving)

The court had tough words for this former Eastern Cape finance minister after he was convicted of drunk driving in 2003. Godongwana was twice over the legal limit and refused to undergo a breathalyser test after he was caught in East London.

He was fined R8 000 or 200 days in jail, and got a suspended three-year sentence for drunk driving.

5. Ruth Bhengu

(Number 39: fraud)

Also a Travelgate fraudster, Bhengu resigned as an MP after pleading guilty to defrauding the parliamentary travel scheme of R43 000.

She was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment or a R45 000 fine, and given a three-year suspended sentence. Bhengu was subsequently appointed deputy mayor of the Ugu District Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal.

6. Jackson Mthembu

(Number 58: contempt of court)

The Mpumalanga chief whip has been embroiled in numerous scandals, but has only been convicted once — on a contempt of court charge after pleading guilty to ignoring a R500 traffic fine in 2002.

As minister for transport and public works in Mpumalanga, Mthembu admitted to spending government money on ANC trips, not following protocol with the purchase of 10 BMWs for his colleagues on the executive committee and crashing a state car without a driver’s licence.

Mthembu was acquitted of fraud in 2001 after he was accused of falsifying a state contract for a building company that employed him.

7. Ndleleni Duma

(Number 72: fraud)

Another Travelgate convict, North West minister for sports, arts and culture Duma pleaded guilty to a charge of theft of R51 000 from Parliament when he was an MP. He was fined R30 000 or imprisonment of three years.

The suspects

8. Jacob Zuma

(ANC president: racketeering, corruption, money laundering and fraud)

Zuma was charged in 2005 after his former financial adviser Schabir Shaik was convicted of having a generally corrupt relationship with the ANC president.

His trial was scheduled to start in September 2006, but struck off the roll by Judge Herbert Msimang after the state unsuccessfully applied for a postponement.

Zuma will be back in court on August 4 to face 16 charges relating to his relationship with Shaik, an alleged arms deal bribe from French firm Thales and not declaring his benefits from Shaik to the South African Revenue Service.

9. Blade Nzimande

(Number 11: fraud)

Nzimande is the subject of a South African Police Service investigation into claims by controversial businessman Charles Modise that he handed the general secretary of the SACP R500 000 in cash that subsequently went astray.

10. Ngoako Ramatlhodi

(Number 20: corruption)

The former Limpopo premier has been in the news since corruption allegations were levelled against him in 2003.

The Scorpions are investigating claims that Ramatlhodi and former Limpopo minister Thaba Mufamadi were secret shareholders of Northern Corporate Investment Holdings, which owns 30% of Cash Paymaster Services (CPS).

CPS was awarded a multimillion-rand tender for the disbursement of social grants.

11. Billy Masetlha

(Number 28: fraud)

Former spy boss Masetlha stands accused in the Pretoria Commercial Crimes Court of paying information technology expert Muzi Kunene R152 000 to manufacture false emails that attempted to show a political conspiracy against Zuma.

12. Nyami Booi

(Number 41: fraud)

An experienced ANC MP, Booi too is a Travelgate accused who declined to enter into plea agreement with the state. He appointed his own legal team and is yet to face fraud charges.

13. Thaba Mufamadi

(Number 66: corruption)

Like Ramatlhodi, Mufamadi is being investigated by the Scorpions for receiving bribes in a social grants tender award. He resigned as Limpopo minister for public works in 2006, but Premier Sello Moloto denied that his resignation was related to the investigation.

14. Playfair Morule

(Number 71: culpable homicide)

This former Free State safety and security minister is accused of being responsible for the death of a Bloemfontein pedestrian in September 2006. The state alleges that Morule’s negligence led to the man’s death.

Moved, resigned or disciplined

15. Jessie Duarte

(Number 6: resigned)

Duarte was forced to quit as Gauteng’s minister for safety and security after a commission of inquiry found there was a ‘strong suspicion” she had covered up a car accident while driving without a licence.

16. Angie Motshekga

(Number 32: disciplined)

Gauteng’s education minister was reprimanded in 2004 for having a ‘close relationship” with a company that had benefited from government’s grants payout system and of which her husband and former premier, Mathole, was a director.

17. Sibongile Manana

(Number 64: moved)

The former Mpumalanga health minister was moved to another portfolio after the Scorpions started their investigation into fraud and corruption in her department. Manana has never been formally charged.

Under a cloud

18. Baleka Mbete

(Chairperson of the ANC: dodgy driver’s licence)

To avoid the long queues, Speaker Mbete in 1996 requested former Mpumalanga safety minister Steve Mabona to organise a driver’s licence for her. The Moldenhauer Commission of Inquiry established that her licence was false, but could not find evidence of a guilty mind on her part.

19. Malusi Gigaba

(Number 13: under departmental investigation)

The deputy home affairs minister was exposed in 2007 for running a ‘leadership academy” from his office and buying expensive flowers for his wife with state money.

He has repaid the flowers money.

20. Siphiwe Nyanda

(Number 22: arms deal discount)

The former army chief admitted in 2001 that he had received a discount of R150 000 on a new Mercedes-Benz S320 from EADS.

21. Ncumisa Kondlo

(Number 50: corruption allegations)

An ANC MP and SACP deputy chairperson, Kondlo is the widow of Nelson Mandela’s former bodyguard, Thobile Mtwazi, who was the empowerment partner of Parliament’s security firm, Africa Strategic Asset Protection (Asap). The company was exposed for allegedly paying bribes to win state contracts. Kondlo had received two payments from Asap.

22. Mathole Motshekga

(Number 53: corruption, fraud and nepotism)

Although an internal ANC commission in 1998 cleared the former Gauteng premier of allegations of squandering donor funds, questions remain about the finances of the National Institute for Public Interest Law and Research that he headed.

23. David Mabuza

(Number 60: corruption allegations)

Mpumalanga’s transport minister was implicated in a school stationery corruption scandal in 2003, but was never charged.

24. Joyce Mashamba

(Number 63: nepotism)

The Limpopo sports, arts and culture minister irregularly appointed her son to the human resources unit in her department.

25. Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula

(Number 68: Travelgate repayments)

The minister of home affairs and her Cabinet colleague husband, Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula, have allegedly been allowed to repay thousands of rands to the liquidators of the travel agencies embroiled in Travelgate.


26. Sankie Mthembi-Mahanyele

(Number 8: investigation into housing tender)

As Minister of Housing, Mthembi-Mahanyele was embroiled in a conflict of interest debacle involving the Mpumalanga Motheo housing scandal. A commission of inquiry cleared her.

27. Ayanda Dlodlo

(Number 47: fraud and theft)

Dlodlo is a former Scorpions director against whom charges of fraud and theft were withdrawn in the Pretoria Commercial Crimes Court last year.

28. Sicelo Shiceka

(Number 61: corruption)

Shiceka, a former Gauteng minister for local government, was in 1999 accused of corruption by his head of department, but was cleared.

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