Bosasa saga: DA to have several high-ranking ANC members criminally charged

Two days after Deputy President David Mabuza challenged people to report alleged impropriety on behalf of facility management company Bosasa to authorities, DA chief whip John Steenhuisen is planning to do exactly that.

When Mabuza answered questions in the National Assembly on Wednesday, Steenhuisen said it was "very clear that Bosasa has been throwing around substantial largesse" to members of the governing party. 

"Why has government not uttered a single word about the scandal?" Steenhuisen asked.

Mabuza said he heard that Bosasa was "working with individual leaders".

"I take it these were allegations," he said.

"Now, the necessary thing to do for those who are alleging is to report these cases. It is a good thing to do so that we don't simply talk, but that we help to uproot corruption."

On Thursday, Steenhuisen released a press statement and announced that he would have criminal charges laid against ANC MP Vincent Smith, ANC national chairperson and Minister of Mineral Resources Gwede Mantashe, Minister of Communications Nomvula Mokonyane, former SAA chairperson Dudu Myeni, Deputy Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Thabang Makwetla and others.

The charges, in terms of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act (Act 12 of 2004), relate to reports that they unduly accepted security upgrades to their homes from controversial facilities management company Bosasa.

Last Sunday, News24 and City Press broke the story that senior ANC MP Vincent Smith allegedly received R670 000 from Bosasa (now African Global Operations) over the past three years, as well as security upgrades to his house.

Smith said the payments were a personal loan from former Bosasa chief operating officer Angelo Agrizzi and he was unaware that the money came from Bosasa. He said he paid for the security upgrades to his house himself.

This Sunday, News24 reported that Bosasa has since at least 2013, installed high-end CCTV cameras, alarm systems and electric fencing for Mantashe, Mokonyane, and Makwetla.

Myeni, former prisons boss Linda Mti, and one-time procurement manager for the Passenger Rail Agency of SA Mbulelo Gingcana allegedly also received from Bosasa's largesse. 

Mantashe and Mokonyane would neither confirm nor deny that Bosasa had installed the security systems while Makwetla said Bosasa refused to charge him for it, despite several requests.

Steenhuisen said: "For too long under the ANC national government, corruption and excessive expenditure, in return for favours, has been allowed to flourish.

These allegations must be investigated so we can get to the bottom of who paid for the high-tech security upgrades.

"The DA condemns corrupt practices by public representatives and will not hesitate to act and ensure that any allegations are fully investigated and that those found guilty of abusing their office are held to account."

The charges are expected to be laid at the Cape Town Central police station in Buitenkant Street in the city centre.

Meanwhile, the ANC caucus on Thursday announced that it accepted Smith's request to step aside as the chairperson of three parliamentary committees "until the investigation into allegations against him, which have surfaced in the public domain, have been concluded by the ethics committee", according to a statement from the ANC caucus

Smith attended the Joint Constitutional Review Committee, which he co-chaired with Lewis Nzimande, as a member on Thursday.

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