/ 7 August 2011

Has the ANC had enough of Malema?

Has The Anc Had Enough Of Malema?

African National Congress (ANC) leaders are expected to demand tough action against the ANC Youth League at a meeting on Monday amid fresh allegations that its president Julius Malema is benefiting from multi-million rand tenders funded by public money.

Not a man to mince words, ANC Youth League spokesperson Floyd Shivambu outlines the league’s programme of action to achieve economic freedom.

Malema was “happy to make millions from privatisation while calling for nationalisation”, the City Press reported in a front page article on Sunday under the headline “Two Faced”.

Last week, City Press reported that Malema was using a secret family trust to finance his lifestyle.

This week, it reported that a company he partly owned was directly benefiting from multi-million rand tenders it helped to award.

According to the newspaper, the Limpopo government outsourced essential government functions to the company, which meant it was engaged in the privatisation of state functions.

Road tenders
Malema is pushing for the ANC to make the nationalisation of mines, banks and land its policy at its congress next year.

According to the City Press, Malema’s Ratanang Family Trust owns a stake in On-Point Engineers, which is a private company headed by Malema’s former business partner Lesiba Gwangwa.

The company allegedly “cashes in” on the Limpopo road tenders it is supposed to manage, the newspaper reported.

On-Point was awarded a R51-million tender by the Limpopo roads and transport department in 2009 to design, manage and implement road projects in the province through an outfit called the “project management unit”.

As part of the tender, On-Point’s duties include supporting the department with the adjudication and awarding of road tenders.

Prohibited outsourcing
City Press wrote that it was in possession of a document which revealed that On-Point signed confidential “back-to-back” agreements with successful contractors, giving it a share of between 50% and 90% of the profits of tenders it helped to award.

The Treasury has said that the government is prohibited from outsourcing functions like this.

Two company insiders, three youth league leaders, four business people, two senior civil servants and a provincial ANC leader told City Press that the confidential contract with On-Point was a requirement for any firm that wanted to benefit from projects overseen by the project management unit that the company manages.

According to the firm’s website, On-Point and — by extension — Malema’s family trust, had benefited from at least eight other government tenders, excluding the project management unit contract.

They included the construction of a high school, the upgrading of roads from gravel to tar and sewer reticulation in the Mopani District Municipality.

Family trust
On-Point was recently appointed by the provincial local government and housing department — run by Malema-ally Clifford Motsepe — as the consulting engineer on a low-cost housing project near Seshego.

In September 2009, City Press reported that Limpopo roads and transport provincial minister Pinky Kekana had suspended R300-million worth of roads tenders and frozen Roads Agency Limpopo’s R1.2-billion budget before firing the agency’s board.

Kekana later transferred the R500-million maintenance budget of the Roads Agency Limpopo (the provincial parastatal overseeing Limpopo’s road network) to a project management unit run by On-Point.

On Friday, the Mail&Guardian reported that Malema was dishing out tenders to his friends through a R4.6-billion road management deal.

The newspaper reported that Malema had admitted to owning shares in On-Point through the Ratanang Family Trust, of which he was a co-trustee. The other trustee is his grandmother Sarah.

No paper trail
On-Point is reportedly a sister company of SGL, of which Malema was director in 2009 and 2010.

Malema resigned from SGL at the time of an investigation into the company by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, to see if he had influenced tenders awarded to it.

Madonsela said she found no evidence that Malema manipulated tender processes. She said that much of the required paper trail could not be found.

“Yes, we are close to On-Point. We are shareholders as a family,” Malema told the M&G, declining to elaborate on the extent of the trust’s shareholding.

He said he had not influenced any of On-Point’s tenders, adding: “I just queue when the dividends are due.”

Beeld reported on Saturday that Malema had allegedly backed out of a deal to buy a R3.5m farm near Polokwane, in Limpopo.

Malema had already allegedly paid a R800 000 deposit on the 139 hectare farm.

Opposition political parties have also called on the South African Revenue Services to investigate Malema’s wealth, saying it is not compatible with his reported R25 000 a month salary.

The Sunday Times reported that President Jacob Zuma, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe and ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe would lead an party delegation at a meeting with Malema and his recently elected executive on Monday.

They are expected to question him about a series of statements he made about supporting “forces” in Botswana to unseat that country’s ruling party, headed by President Ian Khama.

‘They should be disciplined’
The ANCYL described the Botswana Democratic Party as a “security threat to Africa”.

Zuma’s international relations adviser Lindiwe Zulu told the Sunday Times that the ANC had to act against Malema if it was to regain the respect of neighbouring countries.

She said: “I was in Zimbabwe not so long ago and people there were saying: ‘What’s wrong with you? What’s happening? Tell us whether the youth league is the one in charge so that we can talk to the youth league and not you.’ You don’t like getting to places and getting such statements.

“I feel they should be disciplined. We can’t keep talking about this discipline in corners … there were issues that the ANC agreed upon in as far as comrade Malema is concerned. I sit here and ask myself: ‘Where is that process? Does [Malema] really understand the impact of some of his utterances?'” Zulu said. — Sapa