News24

Last day for Deputy Minister Godongwana

2012-01-16 16:38

Cape Town - Monday was Deputy Economic Development Minister Enoch Godongwana's last day at the office after he quit on Sunday.

Presidency spokesperson Mac Maharaj said Godongwana had resigned to "pursue personal interests".

President Jacob Zuma had accepted the resignation and thanked the deputy minister for his dedicated service and duty to his portfolio and to the national executive in general, he said.

In June, Godongwana and his wife, Thandiwe, were reportedly linked to a company that disappeared with R100m in workers' pensions.

The SA Clothing and Textile Workers' Union (Sactwu) is trying to get back the R100m of pension funds from an investment company.

Deal


It was reported at the time that the money had been placed with Trilinear Empowerment Trust, which in 2007 agreed to lend R93m to Canyon Springs Investments 12 to buy an unnamed and unlisted company.

The deal did not happen.

Canyon Springs Investments 12 could not repay the loan as it had allegedly "lost" the workers' money.

The Godongwanas acknowledged to The Star newspaper that one or the other of them had been linked to Canyon Springs since at least November 2007.

They said Enoch Godongwana had been chairperson from November 2007 to May 2009, while his wife had been a non-executive director since May 2009.

The loan payments were made from March 2007 to December 2009, and the loan agreement was signed in February 2009.

The Cape Times reported on Monday that, according to Maharaj, Godongwana had approached Zuma in December asking to be relieved of his portfolio, but the president had asked him to stay on until mid-January.

Maharaj would not comment on the inquiry into the misappropriation of the pension money.

The Cape Times said the Godongwanas owned 50% of the shares in the company through a family trust.

Inquiry

Godongwana appeared before the inquiry late last year, but his evidence could not be reported as there was a possibility of him being recalled to give further testimony.

The inquiry was expected to resume this month.

It has so far led to two arrests - those of former pensions consultant Richard Kawie who, with Mohan Patel owned through family trusts the other 50% of shares in Canyon Springs; and Sam Buthelezi, who was the sole director of the black empowerment asset management company, Trilinear Capital.

Kawie reportedly facilitated the loan, which was invested by Trilinear, the Cape Times said.

Godongwana has denied being aware that clothing workers’ provident fund money was involved in the loan made to Canyon Springs.

Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel’s spokesperson Saleem Mowzer said the minister would not comment on the matter.

He referred all queries to Maharaj, saying: "The presidency is dealing with it."

Godongwana is a member of the ANC's economic transformation committee.

He was previously the deputy minister of public enterprises and served as a member of the provincial legislature in the Eastern Cape.

Democratic Alliance spokesperson Kobus Marais welcomed Godongwana's resignation.

"It does, however, raise questions about whether the deputy minister was pushed out of office before all the investigations into his actions have run their full course," he said.

Godongwana still needed to be held fully accountable for his involvement in Canyon Springs, and the investigations by the police and the public protector should continue until the true extent of "his involvement is established", Marais said.

Comments
  • Kala - 2012-01-16 16:46

    What's the bet he's on the first plane to a idyllic island to enjoy his R100 000 000 pension fund. I wonder what Zuma and Maharaj's respective cuts are.

      Fred - 2012-01-16 19:08

      Absolutely. As Deputy Economic Development Minister he has certainly done well in developing his own economic position, and the Gravy Train continues to gather speed ........ !!!! Will anything ever happen to him ??? You've got to be joking, in fact, Zuma even commended him Probably for a small fee).

  • Ally - 2012-01-16 16:55

    Wheeling, dealing, double-crossing sleaze bag! He "allegedly" stole millions and he must not be let off the hook.

  • Shirley - 2012-01-16 17:13

    Ill bet "hes going to persue personal interests"! A couple hundred thousand! Shameless,money grabbing scum! A sure sign of trouble is when these idiots have"trust" funds. Wonder how much Mac and co got this time??

  • ISO - 2012-01-16 17:21

    Corrupt officials should be locked up for life! They steal large amounts of money - sit for a couple of years in jail and then party time when they come out.....

      Kala - 2012-01-16 17:32

      ISO - Idon't recall any minister doing jail time. Most of them get an ambassador's posting.

      Shirley - 2012-01-16 17:33

      There would be no one left in goverment!

      Fanie - 2012-01-16 17:46

      I agree but in fact his chances to become then next president have jumped sky high!!!!

  • Tumelo - 2012-01-16 17:49

    Lets expand this a little and also include his dealings whilst he was the director on the National Housing Finance Corporation, where the core of corruption is practised and protected. The response from Cosatu is deafening....... I wonder why....?

      Phill - 2012-01-16 19:35

      How do you expect COSATU to respond? Don't you know that Vavi's wife resigned from her cushy position after stealing from the poor the same way Godongwane did?

  • Newsreader - 2012-01-16 17:55

    He now is fully committed to shopping!

  • Phill - 2012-01-16 19:27

    Clever one this. He realised he was in trouble and jumped the ship before he embarrased South Africans any further. He had no chance. The DA was effectively going to force Zuma to fire him. Yes, the only language the corrupt ANC understands is the one spoken by the DA. I say to him, good riddance and pay back the maoney. You should be ashamed to steal from the poor. They voted for you and typical of the ANC this is how you thank them.

  • Chappies ZA - 2012-01-16 20:54

    Probably going into tenders.

  • Chappies ZA - 2012-01-16 20:56

    Never a dull moment in SA.

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