ANC officials accused of bribery plot
Cape Town - Criminal charges are to be laid against seven Western Cape ANC officials accused of being a part a plot code-named Project Reclaim, the Democratic Alliance said on Tuesday.
"Project Reclaim appears to be a co-ordinated attempt to bribe DA ward councillors to give up their seats and stand for the ANC in the by-election triggered by their resignation," provincial DA leader Theuns Botha said.
"The results of a five-month DA investigation are contained in a dossier that we will personally be handing to the SA Police Service [on Tuesday] afternoon as evidence to be used in a criminal investigation," he told reporters at Parliament.
The evidence suggested that soon after suffering sweeping defeats in the 2011 municipal elections, the provincial ANC leadership compiled a "hit list" of councillors in strategic Western Cape local councils.
It targeted 11 DA and 16 non-DA councillors in eight municipalities, he said.
Botha cited, among others, DA Bitou councillor Nevelle de Waal who was approached six times within a week of the 2011 election by "a number of individuals linked to the ANC".
"Nevelle de Waal was offered the equivalent of five years of a councillor's salary in cash [about R900 000] and 'any position' he wants if he resigns and runs on an ANC ticket in the ensuing by-election."
Breede Valley DA councillor Thobile Dyonta "was offered the equivalent of two months’ salary and a position as the council’s community safety officer in exchange for resigning his seat".
Bergrivier DA councillor Dirk Adams "was offered a 'higher position' in the ANC and benefits from construction tenders for projects the national government was planning to implement in Wittewater".
Saldanha DA councillors Olwene Daniels, Elize Steyn, Sucilla van Tura, and Ryan Don "were offered 'positions' in the ANC and their share of 'millions of rands' due to be 'released by the national government'”.
Botha said the ANC’s "attempts to bribe these councillors" fell flat.
These DA councillors recorded all interactions with those attempting to bribe them and reported the incidents to the party leadership.
Any councillor who accepted bribes or attempted to bribe others was in breach of Section 7 of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act. This legislation prohibits the bribery, both attempted and successful, of municipal councillors.
"The DA will therefore lay charges against all those we suspect have broken the law.
"It is unlikely that any of these ANC councillors and affiliates would have acted without instructions to do so from the ANC provincial leadership. And so we will expect any police investigation to ascertain on whose orders they were acting.
"We challenge ANC provincial leader Marius Fransman to publicly and categorically deny that he had anything to do with Project Reclaim," Botha said.
Fransman, who is attending the United Nations' 17th Conference of Parties summit in Durban, was not immediately available for comment.
However, the Cape Argus quoted him as having said the ANC would not "buy over anyone".
"People join the ANC voluntarily, based on conviction. We are against councillors being given any sort of money - that's a non-starter for us in the Western Cape leadership."
Regarding the document itself, Fransman said: "I would want the document to see if it was manufactured by the DA."