Monday, July 25, 2011

The ANC Carpet gets Lumpier with each Non-investigation.

I note with interest the News24 article below. Despite calls for an investigation into Malema’s affairs from just about every quarter except Malema himself and some conspicuously silent elements of the executive, I predict that this will be yet another investigation that will somehow morph into a non-investigation with the person in question walking, yet again, with unresolved matters joining the growing heap under the carpet. It will join the hundreds of corruption charges against the president, the travel claims fraud saga, the SAPS leases fiasco and accompanying intimidation, the weapons deal, the numerous officials who did not declare business interests, the child deaths in hospitals …
I want to suggest that South Africa’s problem is no longer crime and corruption but cover up of buddy-crime and cadre-corruption/incompetence—cover ups perpetrated by the very officials and bodies who are paid to protect us.

Net tightens round Malema
2011-07-24 22:35
Johannesburg - The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) on Sunday called for an investigation into the financial affairs of ANC Youth League president Julius Malema.

"We call for an investigation by the ANC's committee on ethics and members' interests, the SA Revenue Service [Sars] and the special investigations unit into the allegations," spokesperson Patrick Craven said in a statement.

This came after AfriForum opened a corruption case against Malema on Sunday, after it was reported that he had a trust fund for deposits from business people.

SARS should investigate possible tax evasion and do a lifestyle audit to "discover the truth" about Malema's financial affairs, Craven said.

A complaint was laid against Malema in accordance with the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act of 2004, AfriForum's CEO Kallie Kriel told reporters outside the Brooklyn police station in Pretoria on Sunday.

The act deals with corrupt activities relating to receiving or offering of unauthorised gratification.

"If a person's lifestyle is disappropriate to a known income, then it warrants an investigation. We want police to have a look at it," he said.

"We can't have people that use political contacts to enrich themselves at the cost of the poor."

He denied that the organisation had a grudge against him.

Justice should prevail

"If this is seen to be a grudge, so be it...This is in the public interest. Justice should prevail," he said.

The City Press reported on Sunday that Malema was the sole trustee of a secret family trust, registered in the name of his five-year-old son, which he allegedly uses to finance his lavish lifestyle.

According to the newspaper, the Ratanang Family Trust was registered at the Office of the Master of the High Court in Pretoria in 2008, just weeks after Malema was first elected president of the youth league.

Citing two “independent, well-placed sources with knowledge of Malema's financial dealings”, City Press says the trust is being used “by the youth leader and his benefactors” to fund his lifestyle.

“Thousands of rands” are deposited into the account on a regular basis, says the report, quoting the sources.

“Frequent deposits are being made from different banks, especially in Limpopo.”

City Press said Malema had denied that the trust was being used to launder illicit funds, but “declined to divulge its purpose or bank balance”.

The youth league's spokesperson Floyd Shivambu was not immediately available to comment.

Damage reputation

The ANC's Brian Sokutu reiterated that Malema's "private life remains private".

"If he had broken the law, we would certainly be concerned. He is neither a member of parliament nor a government official and it is therefore not unethical for him to be involved in any form of business."

"He must be held criminally accountable in a court of law if these allegations are true," said Kriel.

"It would be scandalous if someone like Malema - who boasts that he represents the poor people - is found guilty of looting the treasury to enrich himself at the expense of service delivery to poor people."

The allegation that a businessman made a vehicle valued at R1, 2m available to Malema and did him a number of other favours, also forms part of AfriForum's complaint.

On Saturday, Malema sought an urgent court interdict to stop City Press publishing a report on the trust, but this was dismissed by Judge Colin Lamont in the Johannesburg High Court.

Lamont ruled that Malema was a public figure and that publishing the story was in the public interest. Further, he had found the evidence contained in the City Press story to be “credible”.

Malema's legal team reportedly argued that his public image could be seriously damaged if details of the trust fund were published.

The City Press had opposed the application.

Nobody’s business

Earlier this week, Malema said that it was "nobody's business" where he got his money from.

He called the media briefing at the time to respond to a Sunday Independent report last weekend that he was building himself a R16m house in Johannesburg's posh Sandown suburb.

Opposition political parties have called on the SA Revenue Services to investigate his wealth, claiming it is not compatible with his reported R25 000 a month salary.

On Sunday, the Democratic Alliance said it would write to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, requesting her to investigate the latest allegations levelled against Malema.

"It most certainly is in the public interest to know whether political leaders are involved in corrupt, self-serving practices that promote the interests of a privileged few while the greater majority of South Africans continue to live in poverty, said the party's Dianne Kohler Barnard.

Meanwhile, AfriForum said it will monitor the police investigation to ensure that nothing is "swept under the carpet".

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