Police escorts for govt officials

2012-01-22 08:13

Johannesburg - Government officials sent to Limpopo to fix the province's finances have been placed under constant police guard amid rising political tension over the intervention, according to reports.

The 30 members of the national intervention team were escorted daily by heavily armed policemen in Polokwane as they travelled between their hotel and the offices which they are deployed in, the Sunday Times reported.

"We would have preferred for them to just be there [without security] because the province wants to co-operate, but the people themselves insisted on security measures," National Treasury deputy director-general Kenneth Brown told the newspaper.

The members of the national intervention team are made up of officials from the departments of national treasury, health, education, transport and public works.

Sunday Times reported that police escorts were provided for trips to shopping malls as officials feared for their lives.

However Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said the police escorts were deployed to guard the team as a "precautionary measure".

"We just want to make sure that everyone is safe... there is no security threat," Gordhan told the Sunday Times.

On Thursday, Gordhan briefed the media on Cabinet's initial findings into the province's financial crisis.

At the end of last year it emerged that the province could not pay its civil servants and was broke.

This was because of its large accumulated unauthorised expenditure which had grown from R1.5bn in 2009 to R2.7bn in 2011, Gordhan said.

Five departments - finance, education, health and social development, public works, and education - are under complete control of the national government.

  • Andrew - 2012-01-22 08:24

    so one province is holding the whole country ransom now .

      Francois - 2012-01-22 09:03

      Andrew, I dont think Limpopo is holding SA at ransom. If government did not intervene, it could have held the whole country at ransom as it is the power base of those who don't want to work for their money and obtain it by either stealing or nationalising. I also hope that the government finds the corrpution and let those guilty go to prison for once, then they will see that it can be done and then hopefully carry through with people like Zuma himself. This can only lead to division in the ruling party and the more division there is, the better it is for democracy, even though it will come at a price.

      ubhejane - 2012-01-22 09:18

      As Francois predicts, nothing will come of this. 1000 will be found guilty, because R2.7 Billion can't be stolen by 10 people. There is a whole network involved here. They will be charged, suspended with with full pay, another 1000 employed at the same cost as the suspended 1000 and now we have to pay 2000 units to do the work of the initial 1000. I am deeply disturbed by the fact that it has been known since 2009 that this theft is going on. Our biggest problem is Gordhan and the AG. They don't have a clue what they are doing!!!!!

      Donovan - 2012-01-22 09:37

      Limpopo is the teat from which Malema and the ANCYL suck. That's the only reason why this is now a bone of contention. Everywhere else, the comrades are stealing just as much. But JZ now wants to show JM a thing or two.

      Donovan - 2012-01-22 09:41

      What does the fact that the ANC has to protect itself from itself confirm? Those Nats, I tell you...those Nats. Isn't it exactly this that they feared?

      Dave - 2012-01-22 11:18

      Mad Bob in Zim dare not loose an election because others may find so much corruption they would hang him after what he and his cronies have stolen from the people. Maybe we have the same senario in Juju land, but they cant stop the officials so they resort to political mud slinging and violence.

      Spyker - 2012-01-22 16:56

      But this is exactly how things were done under 'Apartheid' - viz the regime's officials drifting around under heavy Police escort. Nothing has changed in SA. The whole B.S. about a "Freedom Struggle" was simply a front to continue to steal - in the end, making sure that those who are being robbed have no means to protect themselves. What we are seeing in Limpopo is simply gang wars. It is one 'warlord's' militia protecting its gang-members from another factional 'warlord'. It is simply the 'LAW OF THE JUNGLE'...

      John - 2012-01-22 18:04

      ANC = Association of National Criminals, Abortion Murder Genocide, Destroying South Africa since 1957.

      JP - 2012-01-22 22:12

      They are all thieves, incompetant government you Zuma is drinking a R3000 shiraz while all this is happening,just not giving a f***

  • Van - 2012-01-22 08:25

    A couple dead officials would be the cherry on the cake. Come on Malema, show us what you're made off.

  • jonessierob - 2012-01-22 08:32


  • Mike - 2012-01-22 08:34

    Another "success story" a la African National Corruption...

  • Max - 2012-01-22 08:38

    The country is really becoming "transformed" into a real African country with all the bells and whistles that goes with that. We are proving all the racists and the rest of the world right on a daily basis in terms of the believe that an African (Black, white, etc.) do not have the ability to govern himself in the modern world.

      Mthuthuzeli - 2012-01-22 11:44

      What you have written is gibberish, designed to placate those idiots who live by racial stereotypes regarding blacks.

  • Heinrich - 2012-01-22 08:44

    R1.5bn stolen. No problem. A challenge. Police escort for officials. No security threat. Hungry? Eat cake. We have heard disconnected politicians before.

      Anthony - 2012-01-22 09:03

      yesterday it was 2.7bn stolen

  • Larry - 2012-01-22 08:48

    Yesterday they said there was no Crisis in Limpopo, only challenges? What will they say tomorrow?

      Albert - 2012-01-22 10:02

      Limpopo is the ANC dustbin

      Anthony - 2012-01-22 10:05

      oh yes please

      andrew.martin.71619533 - 2012-08-29 09:28

      haha @ janine.....and so it continues....

  • barbara.pieterse - 2012-01-22 08:56

    Seems rather peculiar that the government 'of the people, for the people' needs to protect it's people FROM the people! This must be an example of the Blue Light Democracy.................only in Africa.

      Anthony - 2012-01-22 09:04

      lol good one

      Daan - 2012-01-22 09:37

      Jy het die spyker op sy kop geslaan!! Ek wonder of ons genoeg piesangs sal kan produseer om by ons land se status te pas?

  • ISO - 2012-01-22 09:03

    Robert Mugabe surely feels at home when he is in Limpopo!

      ISO - 2012-01-22 09:11

      Limpopo! "Bob's your uncle"

      jannie.beirowski - 2012-01-22 10:38

      Limpopo makes Robert turn green with all the opportunities he missed in his country.

  • Ian - 2012-01-22 09:07

    "as officials feared for their lives",...... "We just want to make sure that everyone is safe... there is no security threat," Gordhan told the Sunday Times. Now, as if that isn't a contradiction!!!!!!!!!!!

  • SM1012 - 2012-01-22 09:11

    In my opinion...this matter is definitely Politically and professionally motivated...I strongly believe Limpopo is NOT alone, what about other provinces...most of these province who are against ZUMA will get this one is EASTERN CAPE, they never supported 100yrs Centenary..they are the space.

  • Bokfan - 2012-01-22 09:12

    Only a state on the brink of anarchy requires such measures. Or is the VIP bodyguards/blue light convoy disease now filtering down to the level of humble tax inspector. I couldnt help notice that they use the security platoons for visits to shoppping malls. That sums up your 21st century anc deployee in one short sentence. Could someone just check which credit cards they are using.

  • Andre - 2012-01-22 09:13

    What parts of the words "discipline" and "democracy" don't ANC supporters understand.

      ubhejane - 2012-01-22 09:44

      None of those two. We were told by Friday 20 January they will rule on Malema's appeal against his suspension. Nothing happened.To make matters worse he is now serving in the provincial government that stole R2.7 Billion. Democracy in the ANC's dictionary means claiming the tax income of the country as justified redistribution of wealth. They don't even know they are stealing from themselves. There is NO intellectual capital in this government. NONE!

  • Juan - 2012-01-22 09:25

    During the last elections the sheeple had the chance to vote for the DA to turn things around, but NO they wanted the ANC. So I suppose they got what they deserved.

      Pixie86 - 2012-01-22 09:40

      maybe it skipped your intelligence but the DA's percentage rose. Who do you think is responsible for that? Not all black people vote for the anc just like not all white people vote for the DA. There are other parties, udm, freedom front plus and so on. What makes you think only the da can turn this country around?

      ubhejane - 2012-01-22 10:17

      Pixie, I think Juan is referring the strongest opposition party. If all the opposition parties would form a coalition, we might get a bit further. We can't run a country with parties with tribal or race principals. The IPF has dwindled to nothing because the Dictator won't let go and the FF has only the interests of white on their hearts. So at this given moment the DA is actually our only hope, if Zille wasn't on a crusade to be the first female President of the country. She and every other woman she has gathered around her.

  • Herman - 2012-01-22 09:28

    Wtf, is this Serajevo, or Libanon???? Just flippen fire the thieves and get it over with! Anc you pathetic lot.

      ubhejane - 2012-01-22 09:56

      It won't happen Herman. Only a government that is run in the manner the ANC government is run, works in Africa. In the section My News there is an article written by a typical ANC supporter telling people who pay tax to stop moaning. If they don't like paying tax, they should pack their bags and move or keep quiet, pay the tax and leave the ANC alone. That is what you are up against. The ANC can't do anything wrong in the eyes of their voters. All of this stealing is justified because in their minds, they are redistributing the white man's assets. They CAN'T understand they are stealing from themselves.

  • ubhejane - 2012-01-22 09:33

    This is the weakest leadership the ANC has had in its 100 years. People with a primary school education are running it for people without an education and no effort made to educate. Van said he is glad the money has run out. I fully agree. You can't give these people money because they can't even read a financial statement at the Department of Finance. They can't budget, adhere to a budget and now that the money has run out, the infighting will get worse and split the party. We shouldn't cry. This could save us.

      Lara - 2012-01-22 09:49

      What would have happened if the change of power took place 20 years earlier, when the real leaders were either younger or still alive? Apart from a cabinet with more afros and disco music at rugby matches, we would have been miles forward by now.

      goyougoodthing - 2012-01-22 10:00

      I agree with you (both). We would be miles ahead of the game and also a very rich nation.

      jannie.beirowski - 2012-01-22 10:49

      I appreciate your positive thinking that this could save us. However, I am convinced the ANC will still be ruling after the next local election in Limpopo as we will have Malema making the speeches and promises and he will again be believed by the poor, unfed, unhoused, uneducated voters of Limpopo. We, the opposition, should take some lessons from Malema in how to lie and how to make promises that will never be kept.

      ubhejane - 2012-01-22 11:36

      @Jannie. Jannie, I think the Western Cape is doing a pretty good job of showing the ANC that lies only bring you so far and then people want to see results. Let us look at something very relevant at this moment. During the last tax year the ANC has stolen R25.4 Billion. The cost of the new toll roads around Johannesburg were R18 Billion, borrowed from foreign consortiums at an interest rate whatever that me be. How could you possibly be this stupid and then expect the people to pay an additional tax to fund something that could have been funded from the stolen money in the first place. What the ANC has grossly miscalculated was the fact that their own voters are now starting to revolt against this gross mismanagement of tax money. Looking at Sisulu justifying this extravagant flying of extra planes to New York this last week, in all her arrogance and pompous glory, you realise that this culture of entitlement has at last created an awareness by ALL tax payers, even ANC tax payers, that the country is run by nothing else but thieves with no regard for what the true freedom fighters stood for. They might have had a R400 Million party to celebrate the freedom fighters, but it was nothing else but a smoke screen to disguise their miserable failure they made of the country during the last 18 years. Apartheid got a new name in the form of BEE/AA and no matter how they justify this injustice to all other South Africans, it still is just what it is. An extension of Apartheid.

  • Piet - 2012-01-22 10:00

    Verrrry funny.Why not private securety firms......MUTCH MORE TRUSTWORTHY

      jannie.beirowski - 2012-01-22 10:52

      I agree with you. It has been reported that the police have employed private security firms to protect the police stations and what does that tell you?

  • henk63 - 2012-01-22 10:00

    "large accumulated unauthorised expenditure" - nice words for THEFT! Lock the thieves up or else this whole melodrama will be for nothing!!

  • Jacqui - 2012-01-22 10:41

    They aren't very certain of their followers are they?. Scared of their fellow ANC comrades. Oh my.

  • Anthony - 2012-01-22 10:41

    What a failed province, and yet they still argue.

  • Martin - 2012-01-22 11:19

    I guess all you whities still believe that europe is the holly place where people are honest and africa is corrupt and associated with evil.After what is starting to unravel in Greece,Spain,Italy there can be no colour associated with corruption/maladministration etc.Human beings are by nature Greedy,self centered and crazy.When you point a finger there are 3 pointing back.So,shut up and suck it.

      Saksak Motsepe - 2012-01-22 11:25

      I give you thumbs up but of cause you will get many thumbs down for posting the truth.

      Dave - 2012-01-22 11:35

      It must be that black african countries are not so good at hiding corruption and are maybe a bit over the top with corruption as well.

      ubhejane - 2012-01-22 11:43

      To Martin & Saksak. As a PROUD African man, I don't have to be judged by what Europe does. This is our country and it is up to us to make it work and not judge our scandalous corruption by what other nations do. I live in South Africa and as a South African I need to stand up for what is right in MY book of rules. Screw Europe, Japan, America. Their corruption doesn't give our corruption the green light! Very weak way of looking at the future of our country!!!!!!!

      march54 - 2012-01-22 12:22

      Martin get over the colour issue. Comparison is odious. That one province in South Africa can over spend by R2.7 billion with no visible change in service delivery is unbelievable. You need to learn not to judge people by the colour of their skin but by the value they add to your life and the lives of others. The issue in Limpopo is not colour or political but the fact that there has been gross incompetency in maintaining checks and balances when spending PUBLIC monies.

      Monika - 2012-01-22 14:35

      @ Ubhejane I have taken note of your comments in many different threads and admire you for your clear, insightful and honest comments and opinions. If we could have many, many more PROUD African men (and by that I mean ALL men born in Africa/South Africa, no matter which race or creed), there would really by hope for this country. I am a European, from the country with the strongest finances :-), and I am not going anywhere soon. I want to help build up this country with level-headed and people like you and Moreletsi Mbeki and many others from all walks of life.

  • KCorsar - 2012-01-22 11:41

    Good, now arrest the offenders; dismiss them; never let them hold public office again - and for goodness sake dont just transfer them to wreak havoc (and steal) somewhere else. Local Government mismanagement will se this country brought to its knees; the waste deprives the population of being afford many basic amenities (housing, education, healthcare). Time the voting populace vote with their heads and not their hearts (or stomachs, because they have been given an 'incentive'). 20 years is fast approaching, it would be interesting to see the accumulated sum of wasted costs uncovered by the AG over this period. Corruption exists in all governments, but the scae of this last year is unacceptable and smacks of blind greed.

  • John - 2012-01-22 11:56

    Threat, What threat?? Financial crisis? What crisis?? Yea, right. And we meant to believe these politicians every time they open their mouths....

  • Chappies ZA - 2012-01-22 13:12

    Police escorts for Gov officials.... Makes you wonder, history will repeat it self, the masses are turning against their own, people are getting more and more gatvol of these idiots, how many billions are we still gonna loose before they will relaise their incompetance. No wonder Madiba is hiding, he probably cant believe what is going on.

      ubhejane - 2012-01-22 15:16

      Sorry Chappies to burst your bubble. The Saint helped design the Arms Deal scandal and even his Mozambiquen wife had a charity in Mozambique that got an injection from the R1 Billion bribe money shared by all the parties involved. Really sorry to tell you this. The real father of the nation was Oliver Tambo. The Americans needed an iconic figure to give the Anti-Apartheid movements a person the world could identify with. At the time Mandela was in prison and they decided that he would create the most sympathy for us abroad. The true father of our Freedom is Oliver Tambo.

      ubhejane - 2012-01-22 15:30

      It also deeply pains me and probably the Tambo family, to think about the Great Oliver, and see today how and who gets glorified as the freedom fighters. The stealing pompous trash that rule us now don't have a shred of the character and class of the Great Tambo. It is sad and it makes them all look like hyenas ravishing a rotting carcass for scraps of undeserved recognition

  • Abongile Mbauli - 2012-01-22 13:25

    Just eat cake and drink the koolaid. You'll feel much better

  • Patsy - 2012-01-22 15:52


  • anselmo.coelho1 - 2012-01-22 16:08

    It is a shame how the new Elite have ran amok with the once under control country !!!

  • Heinrich - 2012-01-22 20:45

    I'm getting scared. The management of the country (wrongly and sadly) is in the hands of the ANC. At National, Provincial and local level. There are a great number of officials. What are these guys doing all day? There are supposed to be budgets for the various activities. Revenue and expenditure are supposed to be measured at high frequencies. The flow of funds is to be managed within narrow limits. Red lights should flash when there is like a 1% deviation. Is there no control? What of the rest of the management functions? This is why political parties should be scrapped. They will forever put themselves first, at the expense of the people. Even a midst this crisis they will still say things euphemistically to save party face. Hence we can conclude that they will hide the true picture from the people if it should cast a bad light on the Party.

  • Aphiwe - 2012-01-23 11:17

    you seem to forget ppl, if there's any province that can feed itself and heal itself in the country then its def Limpopo so that being said just be careful what you say. Oh but then again, certain folk will never allow that becoz its simply too much to not depend on them and them owning everything.

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