ANC chief whip in North West's R225 000 spending spree

2015-01-18 16:00
(City Press)

(City Press)

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Johannesburg - Eleven thousand rand on Nando’s and KFC, R79 000 on groceries, more than R100 000 on petrol and rental cars, and six different swipes for fuel in just one day.

This is how the chief whip of the ANC in the North West legislature, Hoffman Galeng, has been living it up on the party’s corporate credit card, spending hundreds of thousands on takeaways, groceries and fuel, City Press reports.

Galeng, who was appointed chief whip after the May elections, has blown thousands on fast food.

He has also splashed out on fuel, and at times the card has been used four times in one day to fill up petrol at the same service station.

On average, Galeng spent between R25 000 and R50 000 a month with the card between June and November last year. He also spent thousands on groceries at different supermarkets in his hometown of Vryburg and North West’s capital city, Mahikeng, where the provincial legislature is based and where he has a home when it’s in session.

Confronted this week, Galeng said the revelations were a smear campaign directed at him.

“This malicious rumour is being spread by some people. I was appointed by the movement and whatever I do on a daily and monthly basis, I report to the ANC,” he said.

He refused to explain the nature of the transactions, or why he needed to spend so much on groceries and fast food.

Bank statements reflecting transactions on the ANC caucus credit card, seen by City Press, show that Galeng spent R225 000 on the card in just five months.

A statement of Galeng’s fuel spend indicates six transactions were made at filling stations in Mahikeng and Vryburg on 15 September.

The total came to R4 324.12. This means that at least five cars, with an average fuel tank of 60 litres, could have been topped up with petrol and driven from Mahikeng to Vryburg and back without needing to be refilled.

On 21 August, the card was swiped four times in one day for what seems like fuel at the Mmabatho Service Station in Mahikeng. The highest amount spent that day on fuel was R1 000 and the lowest was R457. It’s not clear if all these transactions went to fuel and how many cars were filled up that day.

Galeng also rented a vehicle at Europcar in Klerksdorp for R3 700 on 3 October. Two days later, he rented another car at the same car rental agency in Gauteng for R3 051.

The card was also used to make purchases of R19 387 between 19 June and 5 July. The biggest transaction during that period was at Pick n Pay in Mahikeng, where goods worth R4 900 were bought on 4 July. He also spent R1 700 at the Spar in Vryburg and another R1 700 at a Shoprite supermarket in Ganyesa – a small town outside Vryburg.

On 2 August, R1 077 was spent at Beesland Butchery, R2 600 at Pricechain Hypermarket and R275 at a Pick n Pay in Vryburg.

Between 9 August and 10 August, nearly R7 500 was spent at Shoprite in Ganyesa, and at Pick n Pay and Spar in Vryburg.

Other spending includes 24 visits to fast food outlets and restaurants during the same period. Eleven of the purchases were in Nando’s in Vryburg, Mahikeng and Cape Town. This includes a R1 100 purchase at Nando’s Mahikeng on 17 July. In Cape Town, the card shows that R247 was spent at Nando’s Adderley Street and a further R108 spent at the nearby McDonald’s.

The card was also used four times at KFC outlets in Roossenekal in Limpopo, Vryburg, Mahikeng and in Menlyn in Pretoria.

Mike’s Kitchen in Wonderpark, Pretoria, and in Klerksdorp were visited once each, where spending of R1 434 and R1 160 was recorded.

Two purchases at Fishaways in Mahikeng on 2 October and 8 October are recorded in the statements, while Ocean Basket in the same town was visited on 26 June.

A total of R27 374 was spent on the card between 9 August and 8 September.

- The busiest day was 31 August, when R4 700 was spent at KFC and Nando’s, at a service station and at a Pick n Pay in Vryburg.

- On 6 September, a single transaction of R4 600 was recorded at Boxer Supercity, also in Vryburg.

Another R16 000 was spent between 11 September and 6 October, with most of the transactions at supermarkets in Mahikeng and in Vryburg.

- On 8 October, Galeng spent R3 200 at a Shoprite supermarket in Mahikeng.

- 3 November saw the spending on groceries peak when more than R6 000 was spent at different supermarkets in Vryburg.

A whistle-blower based in the provincial legislature said they suspected that the card was being used to fill up different cars.

“How else can he explain four different petrol transactions at the same service station on the same day? Look at these amounts. Surely these are full tanks of petrol,” said the insider, who asked not to be named.

The ANC corporate card has two accounts linked to it – one appearing to be a garage card and the other a credit card – and Galeng has been splashing out equally on both accounts.

It is not the first time that a provincial ANC chief whip has been accused of abusing a corporate credit card. Former chief whip Gordon Kegakilwe was fingered in a damning forensic audit compiled by SizweNtsalubaGobodo auditors for claiming money from the provincial legislature on transactions where he used a state credit card.

This time, the credit card that is being abused belongs to the ANC caucus, which is primarily funded by the taxpayer through grants and by allowances from the legislature.

Those with inside knowledge say the card shouldn’t be in Galeng’s possession in the first place.

“His work as chief whip does not require him to travel a lot, and all these abuses are made despite the fact that he is hardly ever out of the office doing work for the ANC,” said the insider.

Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini – who is the ANC national executive committee deployee to North West – allegedly advised the North West ANC caucus last year to return all corporate credit cards to the bank and close all existing accounts.

Dlamini, through her spokesperson Lumka Oliphant, referred all queries to the ANC provincial secretary’s office, which had not returned calls at the time of going to press.

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