The African National Congress (ANC) head of elections Fikile Mbalula has conceded that the implication of some party members in corruption by witnesses at the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture could negatively affect the ANC’s performance in the forthcoming elections.
The ANC members, that a number of former Bosasa employees have implicated in corruption, include National Chairperson Gwede Mantashe, NEC member Nomvula Mokonyane and Member of Parliament Vincent Smith.
Mbalula says they are concerned about what is happening at the Commission.
“To an extent, it will impact on the showing on the elections. I think everything in society has got an impact. If you’ve got a perception that you’re corrupt, and you’re not dealing with corruption, it stays and it’s a dirty stain that we must rid of ourselves. There are perceptions in society that we have been lacklustre in dealing with corruption. Being defensive doesn’t work.”
However, Acting ANC Spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said the party would explain its side of the story to the Commission.
“We accept that fact, because we are the governing party. That’s why we continue to make a call to those whose names continue to come up. Let’s find a way to come. If they have any alternative version, they must come before the Commission. The ANC is an organisation. To an extent that there were issues that specifically had to do with the ANC, like we explained the banks through the former Secretary-General (Gwede Mantashe), we’ll do so when the ANC’s time comes.”
Earlier, the Commission heard that top African National Congress (ANC) officials and government ministers have benefited from Bosasa.
ANC Chairperson and Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe, ANC MP Vincent Smith and former South African Airways Chair Dudu Myeni were among those named as having benefited from Bosasa’s so-called special projects.
Richard le Roux, an employee of Global Technology Systems, a subsidiary of Bosasa says he installed high-end CCTV cameras, alarm systems and electric fencing for Ministers Gwede Mantashe, Nomvula Mokonyane and Deputy Minister Thabang Makwetla.
Le Roux says he was instructed to start with Mantashe’s property in Boksburg on the East Rand and later work on his other two properties in Elliot and Cala in the Eastern Cape. He says he knew that he heard from one of the directors that the properties were Mantashe’s.
Also on the receiving end of Bosasa’s upgrades were Myeni, and former Correctional Services senior official Linda Mti. ANC MP Vincent Smith’s name also came up, his Roodepoort house benefited from security upgrades facilitated by Bosasa.
Former Bosasa IT guru, Leon van Tonder, told the Commission he had to leave the company in May 2018 due to continued ill-treatment from Chief Executive Officer Gavin Watson.
The Commission has also heard from Le Roux that at some stage former President Jacob Zuma, former SAA Chair Dudu Myeni and then Deputy Agriculture Minister Bheki Cele visited Bosasa Office Park and IT personnel at the company were instructed by Watson and former Chief Operations Officer Angelo Agrizzi to delete the footage.
ANC defends campaign strategy
The party has also defended its election campaign strategy of showing pictures of poor people in shacks and in squalor. Its detractors say the governing party is using the plight of poor people to garner votes.
Mbalula says they will not run a fake campaign and behave as if there is no inequality in South Africa. He says taking pictures with poor people is a constant reminder to the ANC government that a lot still needs to be done.