How Limpopo went bankrupt

2012-01-22 14:43

Johannesburg - The auditor-general’s report into the state of Limpopo’s affairs reads like a manual on how not to run a government.

It contains a damning indictment of the province’s political leadership, which is blamed for the mess.

The auditor-general’s general report on the outcome of the Limpopo government audit for the 2010/11 financial year provides more detail on the apocalyptic picture painted by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan this week as he described a province nearly R3bn in the red and with civil servants fomenting rebellion.

The scale of the administration rescue that confronts the national government in Premier Cassel Mathale’s province is spelled out in the audit’s overview, in which the Limpopo education, health and public works departments feature as the key transgressors.

- State procurement in Limpopo - which has been in the spotlight over the rise and influence of ANC Youth League-connected “tenderpreneurs” was riddled with corruption and irregularities, and contracts to state officials.

No documentation

- In the education department, supporting documents could not be provided to auditors for more than 600 contracts worth more than R150m that had been awarded to state officials. Auditors couldn’t determine if 27 public works contracts had been awarded legally - or what their value was.

- In the health department, 11 contracts worth more than R25m were awarded to state officials. One state official scored an education department contract worth nearly R4.5m.

- The reports show that contracts were awarded to bidders “who are known to have committed a corrupt or fraudulent act in competing for the contract”. It did not say who these bidders were.

- Business was also given to bidders who did not provide tax clearance certificates and to bidders who had not completed “conflict of interest” declarations about their ties to state officials.

- The province’s information technology systems were a mess, with gaping security holes and little to prevent access to and tampering with financial information.

Official spending

- Political oversight of official spending had utterly collapsed. Limpopo’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts was a year behind reviewing yearly reports and two years behind “tabling corrective action”.

The report observed: “During the discussion of the prior years’ outcomes, the Premier (Mathale) undertook to ensure that Scopa decisions were implemented without intimidation. This commitment, however, becomes meaningless if no decisions are taken.”
Meanwhile, the Limpopo education department revealed for the first time why no books were ordered: it was out of cash. Although a new curriculum requiring new textbooks was being introduced countrywide for Grades 1 to 3 and Grade 10, several publishers confirmed that the province had yet to order textbooks.  

  • Ali - 2012-01-22 14:52

    And what are they going to do about it? Just give everyone a warning?

      Michael - 2012-01-22 15:19

      if we should be so lucky.....the other option is to sign the Info bill in as quick as possible to avoid such a "crisis"

      Spyker - 2012-01-22 16:31


      Jou - 2012-01-22 18:00

      This is just the tip of the iceberg. More will follow in the next few years.

      AyGeewils - 2012-01-22 18:21

      The same leadership was voted back in! After they were aware of all this ... outrageous skulduggery.

      Ian - 2012-01-22 19:33

      @Ali. They will suffer the worst punishment that the anc can give......suspended on full pay and benefits for them and their 23 closest family members for life!

      TheWatcher - 2012-01-22 21:34

      If anything is done to discipline them I'll be extremely surprised, but they have a catch 22: 1) If they don't do anything then this will all happen again next year and there will be less money for jets and bmw cars. 2) If they do then chances are those cadres involved will stir up dissent and possibly rioting and they'll have to call the police in to stop their own voters. I just hope that our brethren in the townships hear about this and start voting with their brains for once. One can dream.

      Marcell - 2012-01-23 01:03

      The numbers doesn't add up.

      Warmonger - 2012-01-23 08:57

      Recipe for Disaster: Take one fully functional municipality (Country?)- Add majority anc rule- Combine- Absolute F-up will be seen and felt within a VERY short amount of time...

      Cina - 2012-01-23 12:23

      No a golden handshake and a transfer to another department or a ambassadors job, watch this space.

      Denise - 2012-01-24 00:50

      Name changes will be in order in this case? Lim-poor-poor?

  • Susan Fogwill - 2012-01-22 15:13

    I hope something positive will come from this corruption!

      Sedick - 2012-01-22 19:49

      Yes, lots of luxury cars, designer watches, Armani suits, Jimmy Choo shoes, Mistresses, eating Sushi off naked bodies, Luxury apartments, etc......

  • Neal Badenhorst - 2012-01-22 15:18

    To steal and loot like that on such a scale, knowing that it is the poorest of the poor that will suffer from it most, goes beyond my comprehension.

      Ronald - 2012-01-22 15:57

      At least the barbarian tribes of the ancient world used to sack and pillage other villages and countries. In SA the government entities do it to their own people. In Julius Malema's own words that have come to bite him in the @ss, "A pig does not eat its own children". This assurance from Juju that certain members would not be negatively affected by the ANC has actually backfired in a big way. This pig is busy devouring all its young with no end in sight.

      Mike - 2012-01-22 21:28

      Yes, Bob Dylan's lyrics come to mind..."Steal a little and they throw you in jail, steal a lot and they make you king..."

      Stephen - 2012-01-23 08:09

      That's because you have the ability to comprehend, many in SA don't.

  • Alva - 2012-01-22 15:21

    No surprise here! Malema & Co sitting with all the money.

      Johan - 2012-01-22 15:41


      Denise - 2012-01-22 23:48

      It is no secret that Malema virtually controls Limpopo. It has been said that no major deal happens in Limpopo without Julius Malema's consent or knowledge. We all know Malema has significant influence over the awarding of government tenders and the appointment of senior government officials in Limpopo. Malema + allies + politicians with links to the province’s tender purse + loot state coffers = How Limpopo went bankrupt. Companies linked to Malema and business associate, Lesiba Gwangwa and Limpopo Premier, Cassel Mathale.......looting of tenders worth hundreds of millions.......... to finance their lavish lifestyles and to buy political patronage. Connect the dots..... .......Malema's confidants and close friends.....Sthembiso Steve Bosch.....MEC Soviet Lekganyane.....departmental head Clifford Motsepe..... David Mabilu, one of his key Limpopo allies..... Limpopo Premier Cassel Mathale.....ANCYL Limpopo secretary Jacob Lebogo ......corruption laundering ......tender irregularities in Limpopo.........involving millions of rand in tenders..... awarded tenders .....ANCYL leaders, their girlfriends and relatives are exploiting all opportunities and becoming fly-by-night millionaires It is only a matter of when, and not if...

      Denise - 2012-01-23 07:54

      ...The wife of LIMPOPO MAYOR Lawrence Mapoulo received a brand new minibus taxi worth almost R300000 from a company that was awarded a multimillion-rand tender by her husband’s municipality in taxi-for-tender deal - Malope Mogashoa’s Malo-Thabi Civil Construction (Pty) Ltd was awarded a R6m tender for sewerage-pipe installation by the Capricorn municipality...

  • Alan - 2012-01-22 15:27

    Proof of the fact that 'Democracy' doesn't work in SA, or Africa, is the fact that these politicians and the ANC altogether, will be voted back into power next election, ad nauseum.

  • Garth - 2012-01-22 15:32

    The only way to solve this problem is for us to educate the ignorant masses that maintain these thieves in power. Get out there and educate your fellow South Africans. Ask them if they know where the money for schooling housing, medical equipment, etc. has gone to. When they answer `yes, the government are thieves', ask them if they know who the government is. Every time you hear or read a black South African complaining about the government, ask that person if he/she knows exactly who the government is. Eventually, after much education the penny should drop and the masses will see their beloved `struggle heroes' for what they truly are: incorrigible thieves. The hierarchy of the useless anc will never change - they have to be removed from their positions and cast aside like the filth that they are. Wake up Black South Africa.

      Juan - 2012-01-22 17:07

      It his the poor masses suffering the most, and yet they hold the most power to bring about change. Ironic

      Johan - 2012-01-22 17:23


      Julio - 2012-01-22 17:24

      I see this as a result of the implemengtation of affirmative action which appoints people based on their political allegiance and not their integrity or ability. "Democracy" in South Africa will only exist as long as the ANC get voted into power. When the masses eventually wake up and stop voting for the ANC, then we will see their true colours, just look at the example from the other side of the Limpopo.

      Gerald - 2012-01-22 21:12

      @ Garth You are spot on. The only way to erode the ANC support base is to engage its electorate productively, and not shun them and call the stupid or give then names, they need to be educated, to put the past (read liberation struggle) behind and worry about education, access to health, employment, crime, taxation etc. I think the ANC knows that to keep on 'winning' it must keep on losing (education, etc) and to lose it must win ( provide education such that people become independent thinkers, work so that they worry about taxes, etc)

  • Singatha - 2012-01-22 15:36

    I felt anguish for the African child reading the below.Words yet again fail me. the Limpopo education department revealed for the first time why no books were ordered: it was out of cash. Although a new curriculum requiring new textbooks was being introduced countrywide for Grades 1 to 3 and Grade 10, several publishers confirmed that the province had yet to order textbooks.

      Matthew Patrick - 2012-01-22 16:33

      I can't believe how they haven't even ordered new textbooks! It is so sad that the ones who suffer most are the children and the parents who dream of a bright future for their kids.

      Juan - 2012-01-22 17:15

      I really hope that the eyes of the parents of these children will be opened now, and come next elections make the right choice

      SarelJBotha - 2012-01-23 08:16

      So the kids pay for the folly of their parents and believe me, this is just the start.

      Brian - 2012-01-23 11:46

      @Leonard-you are asking them to vote away their hope.The hope that maybe one day they will also get a bite at the cherry,with a corrupt free environment they would have to rely on their own effort and endeavour to achieve!!!

  • Sylvia - 2012-01-22 16:13

    Disgusting to steal from the poor people there. I wonder how much of that missing money is in Malema's bank account, or under his mattress?

      Johan - 2012-01-22 17:26


  • Larry - 2012-01-22 16:18

    Crooks, Cheats, Incompetents, Fraudsters. That will do it every time.

  • Herbert - 2012-01-22 16:28

    Will this serve as enough cause for Juju to be indicted? why is this "Hawks" investigation taking so long? If he is innocent, at least report it and let the man get on with his life! If not, and Vanish cannot clean him, indict him and Cassel etc!

  • Michelle Vlok - 2012-01-22 16:33

    I'm just wondering if once the 'secrecy bill' is officially implemented in SA if we'll ever hear about corruption like this again? Probably not. When you know better you do better but what happens when we as a nation won't be allowed to know anything about stories like this? And it's the poor who will suffer the most.

  • delahvonne - 2012-01-22 16:41


      Sally Lewitt - 2012-01-22 22:09

      REPUBLIC on its way!!!

  • klay.martens - 2012-01-22 16:53

    Two comments: First, did you even proof read the story before publishing? Check out paragraph 4 - looks like it should have been at the start of the article, hmm? Very unprofessional. Second: Hands up everyone who is surprised that a group of people, with virtually no oversite or viable leadership, have taken every opportunity to milk the system dry, robbing the people who seriously need the resources to improve their lives. I am so far passed shocked that I am struggling to find a new description for the dissapoint I feel. I suppose the truly sad thing is that this sort of thing still surprises me.

  • Mac - 2012-01-22 16:56

    Its like that almost throughout the country.

  • Sithembele - 2012-01-22 17:03

    Only the poor who created this for us; voting for these thieves into power you kill us guys; please stop this nonsense and vote cope

      Juan - 2012-01-22 17:19

      The problem is Cope can't even run their own organisation. How are they going to run a province?

      Johnson - 2012-01-23 07:08

      Cope will be 10 times worse than the ANC - no doubt about that. They can not even run their own political party. Sorry guys who voted ANC you got what you deserve - please don't complain

  • Gerhart - 2012-01-22 17:08

    Juvenile delinquents who have been given a bottle of whisky,credit cards and the car keys. What did the ANC expect when giving the ANCYL a blank cheque for helping to put Zuma into power? But we have always been famous for closing the table door after the horse has bolted. African solutons for African problems? No more to be said!

  • Julio - 2012-01-22 17:12

    I'll bet that some of the top provincil officials will probably be put on extended leave with full pay and then after a long while may get a slap on the wrist, as long as they side with the president of the ANC and promise to vote for him.

  • Ken - 2012-01-22 17:26

    Why has it taken so long for the Government to realize what is going on ? Hopefully the other Provinces are not in the same mess.

      Sally Lewitt - 2012-01-22 22:00

      Ever hear about the "ostrich effect"? mm...!

  • Willem - 2012-01-22 17:29

    Illegal tax feeding corrupters? Numerous published reports for decades prove illegal tax abuse of amassed trillions for corruption. While civilized (tax) laws can never be legal for illegal use. Also, political powers have absolute control to prevent corruption, recover any and still tax this illegal income, and dismiss corrupters. Neglecting these foremost legal duties is illegal too. The monstrous illegal tax discriminates against poor masses and enslaved taxpayers, and deliberately feeds protected corrupters. Whereas, honesty by all will slash tax for all. Massive corruption and brutal oppression of poorest protesters against rotten services beg: How can power abusers represent free and honest elections by the people?

      Gideon - 2012-01-22 17:38

      Because the free and honest elections are determined by an emotional attachment by the majority of the people to the "party of liberation", whilst ignoring that they, the ANC, have done little or nothing to better the lives of their voters. I hope that somehow, because of all the crap that has embroiled this nation over the past decade, that somehow they have a collective epiphany and realize that if they have a revolution with their votes, and put somebody in power who actually gives a damn, everything can change.

  • Gideon - 2012-01-22 17:34

    There can be no governance free from corruption without transparency, yet the people who are disadvantaged by these attrocious levels of financial mismanagement the most vote for the party punting the Protection of Information Bill! Without transparency there cannot be accountability, and without accountability there cannot be governance without irregularity...surely we have learnt this lesson as a country many times over by now? My advice to the government is to bring the bastards to book, and do it in full view of the public, if they want even an atom of credibility to remain in their woefully inept government.

      Fiona - 2012-01-23 09:45

      Well said Gideon!!!!!

  • mike.clery - 2012-01-22 17:35

    Simple cause - cadre deployment. And the ANC *still* won't reconsider this policy that's almost guaranteed to result in the problems they're having. ANC members make up less than 5% of registered voters, and the party selects people for every senior civil service and parastatal job from that very limited pool. It *has* to fail.

  • Sinudeity - 2012-01-22 17:46

    Hehehe, julius is sweating over this news.

  • Herman - 2012-01-22 17:48

    I want my money back!

  • KCorsar - 2012-01-22 17:52

    If heads dont roll on this, seriously roll; assets seized and criminal prosecution is what I mean; then all involved are doing nothing more than posturing like a prostitute on a street corner.

  • ISO - 2012-01-22 17:53

    ANC make up your bed you slept in!

  • abie.martin - 2012-01-22 18:18

    Well... if the gravy-train is on your track and you have not had any gravy in a hundred years, would you stand idly aside and let it pass? And with so many super-sized gravy trains running all over the country, no state official should have bone-dry meat! And guess what! Runaway trains make good riveting suspense movies. Let the show continue, it can only stop once the fat lady sang!

  • Mike Bosman - 2012-01-22 18:46

    In 300 years if u are here it will still be apartheid an previously disadvantaged This is the only country in the world where affirmative is applied to a minority where the majority has full political control. .

  • jacques.koorts - 2012-01-22 19:04

    Everyone of South Africa: If you think this is the only money stolen from you, you are naive. Most high rank officials of our government is stealing from you. Nobody wants to report it, because they get fired or killed. The only reason this made news is because the institutions are bankrupt .ie there is nothing more to steal. Please everyone of South Africa vote these snakes out, and make a better life for the future of your children.

  • Gerry - 2012-01-22 19:22

    The chickens are coming home to roost for the ANC. If we want to stop these guys then the only way is to start withholding taxes because the masses will vote SA into the ground with the the "respected" ANC leaders at the helm. Stop paying taxes to these thieves and let us demand accountability. "Taxes are paid in the sweat of every man who labors. ~Franklin D. Roosevelt." and the ANC is wasting our sweat and toil.

  • Richard - 2012-01-22 19:44

    And this is just another example of what if going on Nation wide. Question is what do they intend doing about it ? Probably nothing and in the very near future this country will run out of all money. Well at least then there is nothing left to steal.

  • Neal Badenhorst - 2012-01-22 20:03

    @jacques.koorts You are right, but the people that need to hear your message unfortunately don't have access to information i.e. the internet

  • Mark - 2012-01-22 22:47

    We all need to read the book 'Africa' by Richard Dowden a journalist who has worked in Africa for a few decades to truly understand the 'African way'. It will expose the truths,good and bad, about Africa that I wish I knew before. Thank God for the internet. Now the buggers must be exposed before the country really hits rock bottom like most other African states.

      Pur - 2012-01-23 08:08

      Wonder how long it will be before Zimbabwe is full of illegal South African immigrants trying to make a new life in the "land of milk and honey"?

  • Tokelo MediaOwner Fako - 2012-01-22 23:01

    Shaking my Head, ANC better deal with this matter radically.. I have lost all hope in them as government.

      Sinudeity - 2012-01-22 23:08

      Welcome to the revolution.

  • Zebelon - 2012-01-23 00:00

    In spite of all this, Mathale was elected as ANC provincial leader, in line for re-election as Premier - a typical example of people who empty their heads before they vote. And, of course, the ANC in government only see a case of comrades in government positions driving the NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC REVOLUTION.

  • Savourcard - 2012-01-23 01:45

    And just how does this differ from the Auditor-General's findings on national government departments.

  • reynard.j.debeer - 2012-01-23 03:31

    Maybe the info bill will be a good thing, it will make us not be so angered and distraught too see this beautiful country of ours being milked dry by greedy animals who only care for personal enrichment! I don't want to see this anymore... The rich get richer, and the poor get screwed over!

  • Mikhail - 2012-01-23 03:49

    It is time for our government to wake up and close the back door of enrichment. Stem the flow of money to these people. Government need to be put in their place. Put controls in place, a key control that lends to a well governed entity is management oversight and precedence. If our president spends R2.4 mln on one trip to NY with an "extra" jet, what are these people supposed to think? If the big chief can do it so can I? Vote these people out, oust our government and usher one that does not protect its colleagues from corruption with bogus laws! The sad thing is that people who read this are generally educated. The vast majority of people who blindly vote our short sighted government are not. How do we reach them? How do we unite SA and save our country? With all the money down the drain, how many people's lives could it have improved? Free bursaries, better schools? It saddens me to read about this...

  • Sakkie - 2012-01-23 04:11

    Viva ANC. Moar please!

  • Showerhead - 2012-01-23 04:54

    Hi everyone

  • Showerhead - 2012-01-23 04:56

    You all know apartheid is to blame ...right?

      Annalene - 2012-01-25 11:08

      All apartheids fault, anything in good order, efficient and maintained is racist !! waiting for your reply whitty..

  • Leonie - 2012-01-23 06:56

    Swart kontrakteurs kry werke by hospitale wat hulle glad nie kan doen nie. Dan is als 'n gemors en moet bekwame WIT kontrakteurs die werk kom oordoen . Dubbel betalings.

      Fiona - 2012-01-23 09:50

      Don't tar an entire nation with a brush that was only meant for those who are incompetent.!! There are plenty contractors out there who are black and competent, THI BIG DIFFERENCE is that they have a conscience and do not believe in graft!!! And for the record, its NOT JUST black people, bad people come in ALL COLOURS AND NATIONALITIES, INCLIDING WHITE!!!!!!

      Nyiks11 - 2012-01-23 12:45

      @Leonie In geval van die oorgedoen werk deur wit kontrakteurs , wat is die tydperk wat verloop voor die hospitale die skade/skuld kan delg ? Ek wil net weet of hulle is gemaak om te wag vir hul geld soos hul bekwame swart ewekniee of nie

  • Johnson - 2012-01-23 07:15

    It is expected that the ANC will waste and they deliver - they are always in the media for the wrong reasons. Will there ever be a day that they will be in the media for the right reasons. Its not just a shame it's the worst form of governance and intellectual capacity the world ever saw. But then again the rest of Africa looks like this, must be genetics. The ANC Limpopo "there is nothing wrong - it's just a challenge" - I wonder why they did not blame it on Apartheid

  • Phil - 2012-01-23 07:23

    I'll bet that the offenders will be given a rap over the knuckles, a pat on the back and be told to go and find a better way of defrauding the province. The ANC is a toothless bulldog.

  • Wayne - 2012-01-23 07:34

    Over the weekend it was reported that a provincial spokesman for the ANC claimed that this was all a setup by central government as there was "not a shred of evidence" that the province was bankrupt. Its a funny old game this auditting malarky innit?

  • Urban.Hawk - 2012-01-23 07:38

    hahahahaha,what a bunch of pathetic to watch about gross incompetence.the poor deserve what they get when they mindlessly vote anc.suckers!

  • robert.m.sylvester - 2012-01-23 07:54


  • Peter - 2012-01-23 07:59

    Welcome to Africa

  • SarelJBotha - 2012-01-23 08:13

    The ANC should be declared a criminal organization, aka mafia and be banned from all politics. This is not unconstitutional as far as I can see.

  • ruimteseerower - 2012-01-23 08:32

    welcome to the province of the limp popo administraters,though you can only eat popos seemed they smoked it and got the munchies ,can only admire a democrysie weldone to the coverment you once again proved you cant rule with efficiency and never will it is just to much work for you you never have and never will be able to put in a 8 hour working day,but please carry on and may you suceed in the in the way you are running things the world is waching and the comedy will be mayed by holywood for the future of our children,how south africa moved from one of the best to one of the worst african countrys ,but no matter we can rebuild and we will survive we do come from good stock all raised with farm blood,congratulations on another well done job please do the same in your other provinces,have a nice day

  • Vaughan - 2012-01-23 09:52

    Malema's home province. Co-incidence?