Naspers, DA didn't collude, protector finds

2012-12-05 20:10

Cape Town - Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has found no substance to ANC claims that Naspers and the DA colluded to inflate the price of land sold to the City of Cape Town.

However, she did find evidence of maladministration regarding details of the sale agreement, in a report released on Wednesday.

She recommended that the city manager consider disciplinary action against officials.

African National Congress Chief Whip Mathole Motshekga asked Madonsela in March to investigate claims that taxpayers were being disadvantaged.

The allegation was that a foreshore parking lot bought by the city council for R106m had been independently valued at R50m.

Motshekga claimed the deal raised "serious" allegations about the relationship between the Democratic Alliance, which controls the council, and the media company.

Releasing her report "Over a Barrel", Madonsela said her investigation found no evidence of collusion, or that the sale price was double the actual market value.

"No evidence could be found to indicate collusion between the city and Naspers to short-change taxpayers... The transaction between the city and Naspers was above board and generally to the benefit of the public."

She said her investigation included seeking an independent valuation of the property, which was bought as part of the expansion of the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), in which the city is a shareholder.

Although the allegation that the price was twice the market value proved unfounded, Madonsela noted that the sale price was R2m more than the initial evaluation and R1m more than the subsequent updated evaluation.

Madonsela found that city officials had concluded a height restriction agreement with Naspers on the land, without first getting permission from the city council.

This breached a by-law and amounted to maladministration, Madonsela said.

She said city officials had failed to take charge of the negotiations with Naspers from the outset, leaving it to the convention centre until late in the day, and this too constituted maladministration.

Madonsela recommended that the height restriction condition attached to the sale be referred to the council for consideration.

Madonsela said the city manager should consider disciplinary action if officials were found to have neglected their duty.

She said the mayor should set up a task team to look into additional complaints regarding the expansion of the convention centre.

Motshekga welcomed and accepted Madonsela's findings.

He said the sale of the land for R1m more than the final evaluation was surely the fault of city officials for failing to take charge of the process.

"We believe that there is a direct link between this dereliction of duty, which saw CTICC and Naspers officials handling negotiations without involvement of the city, and the fact that taxpayers are now being expected to pay more than is necessary in this land deal."

*News24 is part of, a subsidiary of Media24, which is in the Naspers stable.

  • PrettyUsefulArt - 2012-12-05 20:13

    Ta daaaa!!!! Nice try, even better fail.

      zapadela.tistarocha - 2012-12-05 20:36

      That Intro would have been better in F minor.

      moriri.mosweu - 2012-12-05 20:48

      Counting ANC you keep losing credibility and votes in the interim.

      mc.segal.5 - 2012-12-06 05:14

      Rain is an Apartheid problem..We inherited (stole ) bad infrastructure see?

  • Desilusionada - 2012-12-05 20:25

    Ok so now we know. Another investigation and public money wasted. There is still the tiny matter of a couple ships, planes and the odd sub or two outstanding......

      lacrimose.wolf - 2012-12-05 20:33

      National Govt is always doing this to Western Cape Provincial govt when any land deals are involved - losing the reports, failing to respond in time causing the Environmental Impact assessments to expire and so forcing the Province to do pay for another one, etc. Dirty tricks causing delay after delay. As if they don't have enough work to do sorting out dysfunctional provinces and their own members' dodgy deals

  • johann.vanryneveld - 2012-12-05 20:30

    The ANC image is so besmirched and tarnished that they no longer can allow the clean and shining image of the DA it's a mirror showing the ANC warts and all ,and every time !they do this they lose out ag shame .

      zapadela.tistarocha - 2012-12-05 20:33

      DA= One Trick Pony CALL IN THE ARMY......This was also the NP Mantra.

      tobydt - 2012-12-05 21:49

      Use SABC as a propaganda machine. Censor differing political views. Implement secrecy bills. Censor the media... This was also the NP mantra.

  • kobus.hattingh.5 - 2012-12-05 20:33

    If the DA is serious about ever becoming the ruling party, they should think about offering the leadership to Madonsela. One wonders why this lady with so much integrity is part of the ANC at all?

      rob.bancroft.94 - 2012-12-05 22:30

      Where do get the idea she is part of the anc? She is a public servant.

  • Erna - 2012-12-05 20:36

    Keep on trying anc! And it's no use shooting the messenger. Thuli isn't stupid - she's not going to put herself in a position where she seems to be biased towards one party. She leaves that to her accusers.

  • thelma.pottek - 2012-12-05 20:47

    Isn't it strange how quick they are to investigate when someone cry wolf about the wrong doings of the DA but the every day every minute of the ANC hardly get investigated? Is it a matter of sour grapes because the DA actually runs a successful municipality whereas the ANC driven municipalities could not even get a clean audit report?

  • bryan.culross - 2012-12-05 21:05

    Oh, F off Motshekga ... there is NEVER a precise amount for what the value of something is ... if one paid within 1% or 2% (even 5%) of independent valuations then it can be safely assumed that one paid in line with market values. U should worry instead about the R250m that Zipper has pocketed!!!!!

  • ruben.maistry - 2012-12-05 21:16

    Thuli you seem to be the only straight person in government. They will try to oust you, that is when the people of South Africa will rise to protect OUR Public Protector.Well done Lady keep upo the good work.

  • tobydt - 2012-12-05 21:39

    "Mathole Motshekga asked Madonsela in March to investigate claims that taxpayers were being disadvantaged." How very thoughtful of the ANC. Now if only they would apply this logic to their own provinces, and not those operated by the opposition. "Madonsela found that city officials had concluded a height restriction agreement with Naspers on the land, without first getting permission from the city council." Mmm, at least the tax payers werent 'disadvantaged' :P

      sabelo.mcondobi.7 - 2012-12-05 21:52

      say that to yourself ntwana

      tobydt - 2012-12-05 21:57

      sabelo = butthurt

  • daniel.rossouw1 - 2012-12-05 21:43

    Kry eers die balk uit jou eie oog,ANC voordat jy kla oor die splinter in n ander se oog. Bunch of hypocrites.

  • sabelo.mcondobi.7 - 2012-12-05 21:49

    How would she claim any substance investigating herself...fact (ulala nengubenye ne Democratic Alliance)

      rob.bancroft.94 - 2012-12-05 22:33

      Pathetic comment! Is that how far your brain can express itself?

  • Sibusiso - 2012-12-05 22:10

    Thuli Madonsela!You are the best thing that's happened to this country since Nelson Mandela.

  • pws69 - 2012-12-05 22:46

    A less than 1% difference in evaluation vs payment, and it is an issue? But spending over R240 MILLION on ONE persons house is acceptable? BTW, we seem to be missing around R49 million on your evaluation. No doubt thanks to Angies impressive math results in our childrens education. ANC, your dishonesty is astounding, but not surprising.

  • este.scholtz - 2012-12-06 04:59

    Our government = hypocrites

  • brionyl.french - 2012-12-06 05:33

    Bwahahahahah stupid ANC trying to make this Thuli woman look in the wrong places whilst they busy being guilty of what they claiming the DA is ... BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA and when that egg is off your face what stupid stuff will you spit out now ANC

  • maanda.phala - 2012-12-06 07:02

    BrainCandy: Independent valuation findings are that there was over payment of R1million and conclusion of Thully is that she has not evidence of overpayment an irony. This woman is clearly a DA member who is not worth to be a public protector. DA protected Odendaal in Midvaal of the 15 years old contracts without going back to tender. I am not sympatheic to any party but the problem here is when DA led province investigated they threaten protector by telling her they will go to court ,Example printing deal two advisors of Helen Zille set in adjudication even a blind and deaf will tell you is irregular but our Advocate report was leaked and she polished her report to make it as small matter , what an irony. PFMA say no politician are allowed in procument committees . The so called good advocate does not see anything wrong , media also water is down . If it was ANC or any other party the story would have made heard line for two moths, that is double standards.

  • jonathan.maree.1 - 2012-12-06 07:22

    WELA ANC!!! Your time will be better spent sorting out your own crap rather than trying to find fault with the one party which is working for the people. WELA!!!hahahaha

  • wayne.faulds - 2012-12-06 07:27

    I wonder how many claims of taxpayers being disadvantaged in Zimpopo and Eatern Cape, has Mathole Motsheka submitted to the Public protector? I seem to recall exactly, ...... er, none! And these are the provinces with the highest incidence of fraud, corruption, maladministration, qualified audits, non delivery of services etc. and both just happen to be ANC run. Funny that Motsheka decided this was necessary in Western Cape, quantitatively and qualitatively the best administered province in the country. Clown!

  • garth.philpot - 2012-12-06 07:58

    Wow, 1 million more than valuation.. in Cape Town ??? never... What a bunch of fools... why dont you shut your whinging face, take the plank out of your eye and ask Zuma why the public has to overpay for his R280 million residence, which was supposed to cost R7 million, or the arms deal that was supposed to cost 20 billion and landed up costing R71 billion, or the Gautrain that was supposed cost....... and the list goes on.

  • nathan.g.moss - 2012-12-06 08:25

    I don’t think any party can claim to be perfect, but what can separate the DA from cANCer is the way in which they handle this. I hope the DA lead by example and take corrective measures to sort this issue out. Come on DA show everyone how this country is meant to run.

  • SirFGrumpy - 2012-12-06 09:31

    Sounds really bizarre to me. Negotiating a height restriction that does not involve the city? Huh?

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