Vavi to lead a march on Mathale over tender “corruption”

2011-06-07 11:14

Labour federation Cosatu boss Zwelinzima Vavi will lead a march on the office of Premier Cassel Mathale and law enforcement agencies to present evidence of corruption and demand the immediate arrest of unnamed politicians, said provincial secretary Dan Sebabi.

He said the federation’s provincial executive committee (PEC) resolved at its meeting on Thursday last week to hold a one-day march to the offices of Mathale, the Hawks, the South African Revenue Services, the Public Protector and the SAPS within the next two weeks.

Cosatu wanted Mathale and all other public representatives “to choose whether they want to be businesspeople or public representatives”, said Sebabi, and for the ANC to recall affected MECs and government officials.

“The GS (Vavi) would want to be part of the proceedings on the day to be agreed upon when we would then have a press briefing to expose corrupt elements, both government officials and public representatives,” Sebabi said.

“With the police we would prefer to open criminal charges against individuals affected and demand immediate arrest and that their properties be frozen.”

He added that the federation had learnt that Mathale suspended acting head of the provincial health and social development department, Deliwe Nyathikazi, because she had refused to bow to pressure from “government leaders” to sign R167 million worth of “fraudulent payments” to those “politically linked to them”.

The mooted Cosatu march comes days after ANCYL president Julius Malema told the league’s provincial general council (PGC) in Limpopo over the weekend that a female MEC had met twice with the Hawks asking them to arrest him and Mathale for alleged corruption.

City Press reported last week that the company of Julius Malema’s cousin, Tshepo, had been awarded a R44 million contract without submitting a formal tender.

The paper also reported that the entity was among eight companies awarded R167 million worth of tenders without being advertised.

Addressing league delegates, Julius Malema denied any involvement in the awarding of a tender to his cousin.

“Just because his surname is Malema, my name has to be dragged into it: “Tshepo Malema, Julius Malema’s cousin”, where do I feature in that story?” asked a furious Julius Malema.

City Press has run a series of exposes on tender corruption, nepotism and irregularities in the province for more than a year.

Mathale’s administration repeatedly denied any wrong-doing, saying its procurement processes were above board.

Cosatu’s march is likely to pile more pressure on Mathale, who was recently forced publicly to dismiss the local Polokwane Observer newspaper’s report that Luthuli House had taken a decision to recall him.

Speculation has been rife in the province over the past few months that the premier could be replaced with either Joe Mathebula or Joe Phaahla.

A furious Mathale, the provincial ANC and its youth league all dismissed the report, published fortnight ago, as malicious rumours.

Phuti Mosomane, Mathale’s spokesperson, referred all questions about Cosatu’s march to the provincial ANC.

“For us, this is a political matter. We want the ANC to handle that because they (Cosatu) are in an alliance with the party,” Mosomane said.

ANC Limpopo spokesperson, David Masondo, said the ruling party’s position was that public representatives can be in business provided they declared their interests and did not use their positions to pursue such interests.

Masondo added: “Cosatu has the right to launch mass protests but the ANC is not going to remove people from positions of responsibility when they have not contravened the law or any policy of the ANC.”

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