DA's Maimane lays charges against ANC's Chancellor House

2015-09-30 13:52
DA leader Mmusi Maimane (Photo: DA)

DA leader Mmusi Maimane (Photo: DA)

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Johannesburg - The Democratic Alliance says it will not allow the African National Congress to use its power to enrich itself, prompting the official opposition party to lay a criminal charge against the party's investment arm, Chancellor House, on Wednesday.

This comes after reports surfaced indicating Hitachi had allegedly made improper payments to the ANC.

Hitachi won the tender to provide Eskom with boilers for the Medupi and Kusile power stations.

On Monday, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced it had charged the Tokyo-based conglomerate with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

It claimed Hitachi Ltd had "inaccurately recorded improper payments" to the ANC in connection with contracts to build two multi-billion-dollar power plants.

According to the SEC complaint, Hitachi, without admitting or denying the allegations, agreed to a settlement and paid a $19m (R262.96m) penalty.

Hitachi was aware that Chancellor House was an ANC funding vehicle.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane laid the criminal charge against Chancellor House in Cape Town on Wednesday morning.

He said his party had also lodged a complaint with the World Bank, which provided a loan to Eskom to fund the construction of the two power stations.

He claimed this was effectively bankrolling the ANC through its share in Hitachi via Chancellor House.

"In the light of recent developments we believe the World Bank should invoke their power to demand financial restitution, in this case from the ANC, in cases where loans were employed to fund fraudulent, corrupt, collusive, coercive or obstructive practices," Maimane said in a statement.

"Like the recent revelations of corruption at the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa), the allegations against Chancellor House are indicative of the pervasive corruption at all levels of ANC government."

He said this continued to devastate South Africa's economy and divert resources.

The ANC on Tuesday denied any involvement or knowledge of the deal between Chancellor House and Hitachi.

"The ANC categorically states the organisation was not involved, implicated nor approached to answer on anything relating to the charges brought against Hitachi," ANC treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize said in a statement.

Chancellor House sold its 25% stake in Hitachi last year March.

According to the SEC's complaint, Hitachi was awarded the contracts for the Medupi and Kusile power stations and allegedly paid the ANC's front company around $5m (R69.2m) in "dividends" based on profits derived from the contracts.

Hitachi, through a separate, undisclosed arrangement, paid the front company another $1m (R13,84 million) in what was called "success fees".

This was inaccurately booked as consulting fees without proper documentation.

"The DA will not allow the ANC to use their power to enrich themselves at the expense of ordinary South Africans," said Maimane.

Read more on:    da  |  hitachi  |  anc  |  chancellor house  |  mmusi maimane  |  cape town

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