ANC mine grab claims

2010-11-21 16:49

Johannesburg - The ANC’s controversial investment and fundraising front, Chancellor House, has secured a lucrative stake in the scramble for South Africa’s mineral wealth – a move critics slate as a shocking conflict of interest.

City Press has established that over the past six years, Chancellor House Mineral Resources – a subsidiary of Chancellor House Holdings – has ­netted rights to carry out prospecting at 560 sites in Northern Cape, North West and Mpumalanga.

Applications to prospect at a further 400 sites are still under consideration by the department of mineral resources (DMR).

Investigations also reveal that key members of the party’s national ­executive committee (NEC), including ­treasurer-general Mathews Phosa, ­deputy ministers Ebrahim Ebrahim and Ayanda Dlodlo, National Assembly Speaker Max Sisulu, former spy boss Billy Masetlha, businessman ­Cyril ­Ramaphosa and ambassador to Italy, Thenjiwe Mtintso, all have direct interests in mining companies.

Details of the prospecting interests are included in a 1.5-million-entry DMR database of mineral rights and now show for the first time the location and scale of the ruling party’s prospecting interests.

The revelations come as a furious ­debate rages over the potential nationalisation of mines and in the week that the ANC announced it would appoint two senior researchers and a project manager “to investigate successful models that could be considered on the role of the state in mining”.

Chancellor House Holdings chief executive Mamatho Netsianda last week refused to discuss the company’s mining interests and prospecting rights. “I’m not interested in discussing it with you,” said Netsianda, a ­former deputy secretary of defence.


Peter Leon, a mining-law expert and chairperson of the International Bar Association’s mining-law committee, said it was “very problematic that the ­state has awarded prospecting rights to the investment arm of the ANC”.

Leon said: “The state should not ­provide Chancellor House or the ruling party with business opportunities. It is unethical, it is a conflict of interest and is nothing else but favouritism.

“There should be a clear separation between state and business and, in this instance, it is getting blurred.”

According to Leon, the allocation of prospecting rights to Chancellor ­House ­created an “unlevel playing field” and Chancellor House “has a ­clear advantage over other companies trying to get these rights”.

ANC spokesperson Brian Sokutu said: “Chancellor House is a duly ­incorporated business which has been formed in compliance with the ­Companies Act and has every right to trade like any other company.

“There is nothing legally stopping Chancellor House from having an investment in any business,” he said. Sokutu added that there was nothing wrong with senior NEC members having interests in mining.

He said: “Where there could be a ­problem is if somebody holds a senior public ­service position or that of a ­minister or deputy minister.


“There is no conflict at all. We have rules and regulations in this country and ethics to follow. We don’t think ­people need to fear anything.”

Dr Koos Pretorius, a mining expert and director of the Federation for a Sustainable Environment, is investigating the allocation of prospecting rights to Chancellor House.

“It seems as though, once again, the DMR has just bulldozed the whole ­process and granted prospecting rights without properly consulting ­land owners, and interested and ­affected parties,” Pretorius said.

The 2002 Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act states that affected parties should be notified of the intention to prospect and should be consulted about the process.

Pretorius said it was problematic that “Chancellor House – and therefore in effect the ruling party – has been ­granted prospecting rights”.

“This should never have happened. It is a free-for-all with everybody trying to get prospecting rights, whether they know how to mine or not,” he said.

Connected people

Frans Baleni, general secretary of the influential National Union of Mineworkers, said that while he was not opposed to the ruling party or members of its executive having interests in mining, he was concerned that “you could get connected people who might not add value to the industry and who are there to make money and compromise basic things like human rights and ­labour law”.

Baleni asked: “The issue is fair play; did they get it like any other person?”

ANC Youth League spokesperson Floyd Shivambu was dismissive when asked about the potential conflict of ­interest, saying he found the questions “stupid”. He did not see how Chancellor House’s interests and those of senior NEC members would affect debate in the party over mine nationalisation.

The Democratic Alliance’s ­shadow minister for mining, advocate Hendrik Schmidt, said the ANC “should not be linked to any possible benefits from transformation issues”.

He said: “They benefited from the electricity crisis in view of their ­involvement and ownership in ­Chancellor House and Hitachi SA.

“What the ANC has done is ride on the back of transformation, indirectly to the detriment of the people they are supposed to be serving.”

  • SimonP - 2010-11-21 17:12

    Yet another blatant abuse of power for the benefit of the select few. The real problem is the ANC will not see anything wrong with it, just look at Floyds response, they have no clue as "conflict of interest". As for the average ANC supporter, they will refuse to see they are being conned and blame all critics as being afro pessimistic.

  • MontyC - 2010-11-21 17:13

    Its a disgrace that the raping of the economy and the very people that it is sworn to serve is so blatant. You would think the ANC would at least have the sensitivity to allow its people to live in the rose tinted world of equal opportunity. Julius and Floyd are also living in lala land if they think the ANC is going to tolerate any real talk of nationalisation while the wealth of minerals is vested in the ANC hands. Unless they are only talking of nationalising white owned mineral assets?

  • oxygen - 2010-11-21 17:52

    Makes me sick.

  • GT - 2010-11-21 17:56

    All gentleman was fantastic knowledge in geology, finance and mine engineering. Disgraceful, yet there is ZERO shame. The NUM man is spot on. It is a money grab, these guys can offer nothing except the ability to use political clout to corrupt the system.

  • Mart - 2010-11-21 17:57

    and this of course, without a shadow of a doubt in my mind, has opened the doors to the Chinese, the ANC's 'puppet master', to ultimately take control of the mineral wealth in Africa....mark these words fellow countrymen....we are being led by the biggest sellouts on the continent.

  • aprime - 2010-11-21 17:59

    That is good once they have enough they can start to nationalise - And if the goverment does not grant the licence , who will

      SimonP - 2010-11-21 18:08

      "that is good" can you explain exactly what is good about the ANC ripping off the whole country.

  • Crest Publishing - 2010-11-21 18:07

    Grabbing and taking is the ANCs' greatest strength and they have been exercising this since 1994 in systematic looting of this countrys' wealth. The majority of voters who keep voting for the ruling party regardless of corruption and bent rules,deserve what what they will all receive - and that is precisely nothing. They will be just as poor while the rich go on getting richer at their expense. the only thing the predominently black voter will have, is excellent toy toying exponents, still no houses, still no services and ominously for the ANC a slow growing resentment which will end predictably in Africa with violence. (There are none so blind as those who cannot see). Spookoctopus

  • Boerseun - 2010-11-21 18:46

    ..and they'll get away with it, as they see no problem. Where is the constitution and the Concourt when we need them? Gone with the wind, as happens to uselss paper.

  • Diego's - 2010-11-21 19:15

    Why the fuss? Chancelor house will make lots of money and pass it on to the ruling party who will distribute it among the poor. "A better life for all"? Free education and healthcare too maybe? Eish... maybe a long wait.

  • Rick - 2010-11-21 19:28

    ANC: ZANU-PF mach 2?

  • Macho Mike - 2010-11-21 19:41

    Democracy ANC style - we do as we damm well please! Just the next piece of the ANC jigsaw i'm afraid.Nationalisation of the mines, just as per the failed Zambian model, is only 12-18 months away i estimate. Little wonder that the Anglo American group took the decision to move it's HQ to London in 1999.The Chinese will soon be in SA taking control of the mines, and serious private investors will pull out and invest in South America etc. Wonder if Malema is already having Chinese lessons, before it becomes SA's 12th official language.And sadly, the very people that support the ANC will suffer the most........typical African politics.

  • dougmayger - 2010-11-22 04:12

    Malema is a bit late - the mines have already been nationalised.

  • dougmayger - 2010-11-22 04:13

    Malema is a bit late - the mines have already been nationalised.

  • Kevin Rack - 2010-11-22 04:27

    The Hyena clan enriches itslef and its cronies. How can a party in government be allowed to buy assets it controls for us the poeple. I am telling you the ANC are heading to destroy South Africa. Every thing Zimbobwe did to get in the mess its in(look at all the Zims on our streets) the ANC are doing to South Africa. We sit by and watch as they carve up the country for thier own benefit.

  • ChumScrubber - 2010-11-22 05:55

    What worries me is how easily permits are issued, to the detriment of our environment. Can the country survive with half its water polluted? And once they own the mines - will they share the wealth amongst themselves, or the people of our country. Will they pay higher wages, how will they deal with strikes? The ANC will become so wealthy they will never be able to be removed from power, and dictatorships always suppress normal Joe public. Worrying times ahead. The mineral wealth of this country (and most others) is more of a curse than anything else, good for short term gain, nothing else.

  • nonduplume - 2010-11-22 06:33

    Ethics regulations and rules - something the ANC know very little about! Just another disgusting example of how the ANC is plundering our country at the expense of the poor who they profess to represent. One day this body of long-suffering people is going to turn on them.

  • Zion - 2010-11-22 07:29

    Africa cannot learn nor does it want to do so: IN 600AD the Great Zimbabwe civilization saw its demise due to over exploitation of its resources. The country went practically hungry until the colonists bailed them out. The Great Zimbabwean bread basket is now depleted under Mugabe and his over exploitation of resources now the neighbors and their colonists are expected to bail them out again. Soon it will be our turn to be bailed out by the UN food aid program.

  • AJ - 2010-11-22 08:24

    If you honestly think that the ANC government will not treat it's relationship with the company (that was incorporated specifically to make money for the ANC) differently to other companies in the land, then you are living in cloud cuckoo land.

  • colinwjamieson - 2010-11-22 08:40

    Banana Republic............

  • colinwjamieson - 2010-11-22 08:40

    Banana Republic.......

  • alistair.wallis - 2010-11-22 09:34


  • Makutu - 2010-11-22 12:28

    Ya neh...! Do these guys actually have hearts?

  • nyashabam - 2011-02-20 21:53

    Leave ANC alone... abuse of power my a$$ they said in Blood Diamon.... T.I.A baby .... this is AFRICA .... lol

  • Hardtalk - 2011-02-26 16:59

    They blame apartheid at every opportunity; the only difference is they are not white but worst than any pre 1994 government. If you are so stupid you vote ANC then you deserve all you get NOTHING. And you deserve all they get EVERYTHING. Watch out ANC Africa is waking up soon it will be your turn, you will need more than your song “fetch me my machine gun”

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