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Letters to the editor: October 5 to 11

The facts about the ‘bribe’

I took this extraordinary decision to correct the inaccuracies in the article Cyril accused of double standards because I believe the concocted nature of its narrative was not done out of malice or as a deliberate ploy but was a result of the only information at the reporter’s disposal when the article was written.

I expected the office of the ANC secretary general would set the record straight regarding this unprecedented leak of confidential national executive committee deliberations, and to correct the distortions and insinuations created by them.

I wish to place the following facts on record:

First, the allegation that I have received a bribe and that I made a confession at a meeting of the NEC to that effect is absurd. Nothing could be further from the truth. I have never received a bribe and I will never accept a bribe in my execution of duties as a public office bearer.

The anecdote I related to the NEC was my input in a political overview the NEC was conducting in March this year at its first ordinary meeting after the ANC’s December elective conference at Nasrec. It had nothing to do with the recent allegations against Bosasa and some ANC functionaries.

Second, it was a discussion of the current conjuncture in and outside the ANC that is affecting our ongoing struggle. In my submission, I proffered the view that perhaps the ANC needs to approach the problem of corruption in a more proactive, scientific and constructive way. I decried the practice where we continue to be timid to discuss corruption in the party in abstract terms.

To amplify my point, I related how, after I was appointed to the premier’s office in 2004 in Mpumalanga, I was approached by persons in business through a third person offering me an executive case full of money.

When I refused to accept it, this messenger refused to take it back but stood up and left in the still of the night. I panicked and drove for three hours to Gauteng the following morning, anxious to seek protection and advice at ANC headquarters over what had occurred. I was
sent back to convince the messenger to take that money back. Fortunately he relented [and] took it back.

I argued that the party needs to consider devising strategies and conventions to deal with corruption by insulating and protecting its cadres who are deployed in positions of influence from pressures and temptations. I used this encounter as an example of how real the challenge is.

Regarding Bosasa, I have issued a detailed media statement about the circumstances under which I procured services from it and why payment is still outstanding for this service. This matter is now before Parliament’s ethics committee and I submit that it is the appropriate place where it should be ventilated.

I trust that this factual account will contribute towards eliminating smoke and mirrors around the formidable challenge we must confront, of ridding the premier vehicle for the transformation of our country, the ANC, of corruption.

It remains our hope that in that fight South Africa’s media workers will bat on the side of the popular masses, regardless of how lucrative it may be to act contrary to this expectation. — Thabang Makwetla, MP

Insurers, offer more than money

Following the release of the annual crime statistics last month, insurance companies will be hard at work recalibrating the costs of various risks we face and passing these on to South Africans through our“grudge purchase” — insurance.

Taxpayers already fork out over and above for what the state ought to be delivering: health and household insurance, private security and boreholes. Everyone seemingly has the answer to why and what can and should be done about it, but the ability and moral obligation of the insurance industry to improve our realities has been overlooked for too long.

Insurance is a profitable business ably assisted by the state’s inefficiencies. But, other than a reactive (financial) safety net, what do they offer society in return? The answer lies with the data our industry holds that can enhance public safety.

Data is the world’s latest and, many would argue, most valuable commodity. Surely it is morally incumbent on the insurance industry to use the data of South Africa’s collective hardships — crunched, cross-tabbed and actuarially analysed — in the fight to make our country safer?

We have the tech tools to communicate current crimes and trends affecting our communities on a daily basis — think of the neighbourhood watch WhatsApp groups and Facebook pages, live security camera feeds to our cellphones, car trackers monitoring our every move and number plate recognition CCTV cameras — yet we remain largely uninformed and unempowered about our daily realities and trends.

Annual crime statistics do not provide the level of detail we need. Regular hotspot map updates and individualised reports for policy holders are just two ways we can develop an active, informed citizenry and partnerships with our communities. This is a call often made by big business, but with little action.

We are a resilient nation, but that shouldn’t require us to continue living in fear of crime. The data is available, and the industry has the ability to play a concrete role in truly empowering our citizens — insured or not. Many of these online portals exist or could be easily tooled for access. Why aren’t we asking for this already? — Matthew Garrun, director: Garrun Group Insurance Brokers

Raise your fist for dedicated BCM comrade

Comrade Chris Madibeng Mokoditoa, who was born on November 3 1938, died on September 27.

Mokoditoa was the secretary of the University Christian Movement, which played an instrumental role in the formation of the South African Student Organisation, the Black Consciousness Movement pioneer organisation.

He was the inaugural vice-president of the Black People’s Convention (BPC) and served as the deputy to Motlalepula Winfred Kgware, the first woman president of a South African liberation organisation, the BPC.

In his professional capacity as an advocate, Mokoditoa represented the Azanian People’s Organisation and Azapo Liberation Army cadres in a number of court appearances.He held various leadership positions in the Azapo standing committee and was the longest-serving secretary for legal affairs.

He served his profession well and participated in the activities of the Black Lawyers Association and served as a lecturer at the University of Bophuthatswana in Mahikeng, which was later merged with other institutions in January 2004 to form the present-day North-West University.

Mokoditoa will be buried on October 5.

For comrades like Mokoditoa, we unashamedly raise high our right hands in the clenched fist as we salute this selfless and dedicated Black Consciousness Movement and Azapo veteran and stalwart.

We convey our heartfelt condolences to his wife, the Mokoditoa family and all his loved ones.

He will be sorely missed. — Lesego Sechaba Mogotsi, member of the Azapo committee on publicity and information, Tshwane

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