ANCYL money machine

2011-06-11 18:01

The ANC Youth League (ANCYL) under Julius Malema has not only become a powerful lobbying structure within the ANC, but also a powerful moneymaking vehicle for its members.

The story of Malema’s rise from rags to riches is a case in point.

A year after he became ANCYL president, Malema was netting a monthly salary slightly in excess of R42 000.

Yet he was living the life of a man of far greater wealth.

This begged the question: where did the money come from?

It would later emerge that SGL, an engineering firm to which Malema has been linked, was probably one of the main sources of his income.

It and its sister companies benefited from tenders allegedly sent their way by trading on Malema’s league credentials.

His role in SGL remains unclear.

Pule Mabe, the current ­ANCYL treasurer, is another man who fared well. Six months after he joined the ANCYL leadership, his company, KG Media, started a free biweekly newspaper distributed to Metrorail ­passengers.

Mabe worked for Metrorail until he became treasurer-general of the ANCYL.

The newspaper was floated without going to tender, described instead as a “private” deal, though one that was lucrative considering the advertising revenue it opened up for Mabe on such a wide distribution network.

The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) and its provincial advisory boards tell another tale, staffed with ­ANCYL leaders and their pals who are pulling in killer salaries.

Malema’s deputy, Andile Lungisa, heads the NYDA board and rakes in R800 000 a year, while CEO Steven Ngubeni, who is also the ANCYL deputy secretary-general, pulls in R1.8?million a year.

The bulk of the 63 members of the provincial advisory boards were drawn from the ANCYL, with appointment processes rigged to such an extent that no candidates from other parties or youth structures got a look in.

And those provincial jobs are also high-paying positions, with each chairperson earning R700 000 a year and deputies getting R500 000.

?The appointments sparked an investigation, but its findings have never been disclosed.

Slush funds
In recent weeks, Malema’s cousin, Tshepo, emerged as the winner of a R44 million tender, which was awarded without due process being followed and suspected to have been given for the purpose of bankrolling Malema’s re-election campaign.

Rogue application forms
When it became apparent that some regions were not going to back Malema, they were disbanded and restarted with pro-Malema members.

But the old anti-Malema members wanted to rejoin.

Two sets of application forms were issued: one was the original ANCYL form; the second one was similar, but it had a cartoon stamp on the back to help the rallying officials distinguish between pro- and anti-Malema members.

Those given the “comical” style versions belonged to the former and were regarded as “members in good standing”.

Votes for cash
It was from the boot of cars that the leadership was contested in one region, City Press was reliably informed.

A number of swing delegates were approached and told they would be well looked after if they voted for the president’s man.

To ensure their money would be well spent, an initial R5 000 was given to twist their arms and a further R5 000 was doled out when the deed was done.

Delegates use their cellphones to take a picture of their ballot paper to show that they voted for the “right” candidate.

ANCYL leaders say bribes given to individuals could be as much as R100 000, depending on the number of delegates they bring along to a particular camp.

At least 13 leaders from across Limpopo – who were part of the league’s previous national conference in Mangaung in 2008 and later the provincial conference in Makhado last year – said rival national presidential candidates usually raise up to R30?million each to buy votes.

These young lions said they ­either received, gave or facilitated cash payments for votes.

A provincial conference would usually cost at least R5?million, they said.

They added that the money was used to buy expensive “gifts” such as cellphones, watches and bags for influential leaders considered key to swaying votes.

But the contesting leaders are nowhere to be seen when it comes to payouts.

Instead, it trickles down from the top and through the various structures so that by the time it is handed over, its source is heavily disguised.

Money is not only used to ­influence votes, but also to manage conferences.

Sleeping arrangements
In 2008, when Malema ran for president, he was the underdog, with only Limpopo behind him.

He and his cohorts made it their business to bring as many delegates as possible and they did it by wining and dining them.

In other instances, the delegates of one particular candidate were accommodated away from those of another to ensure they couldn’t be swayed.

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