SANDF using R13bn 'secret fund'

2012-07-31 08:47

Johannesburg - The SA National Defence Force has had three years of its spending, about R13bn, exempted from public view, The Star newspaper reported Tuesday.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordham exempted the three years of spending of the Special Defence Account from the Public Finance Management Accounting Act "apparently to make sure the spending stays secret", the newspaper wrote.

The account is for the purchase of weapons and equipment as well as covert activities.

The National Treasury said the exemption was only an "accounting issue" after new accounting practices were introduced in 2010. The account would have to publish separate reports but the SDA funded activities which "cannot be disclosed".

Treasury spokesperson Jabulani Sikhakhane denied the SDA was a slush fund and said the defence department was accountable to Parliament for the use of the fund.

  • chrisjanbotha - 2012-07-31 08:58

    And Parliament is accountable to nobody...

      ray.priestley.79 - 2012-07-31 09:03

      Wait till the "Secrecy Bill" goes through.

      jack.milosevic - 2012-07-31 09:08

      How very convieneant, Pravin Gordham is just another Schabir Shaik. So Pravin how much did you get to siphon off the account.

      charlesdumbwin.dumbwin - 2012-07-31 09:12

      I'd like to know how this R13bn was divided amongst the ANC elite?

      arthur.hugh - 2012-07-31 09:33

      What "covert" ops could the SA army be involved in - stealing burgers at Mac Donalds? Best thing I can think of is drug deals in the Congo.

      bob.mcmillen.564 - 2012-07-31 09:47

      Where are all the ANC supporters bloggs, even they are struggling to justify this one, and still they will die for their beloved ANC, the corruption and waste is beyond belief, and the blind faith in their ANC is maybe even more unbelievable.

      blignault.michaele - 2012-07-31 09:52

      With all the corruption and so on that takes place, when will taxes be increased to support this wicked government's lack of discipline and honesty. And these arse..holes actually accumulate the majority of the votes. Beyond me..

      kevin.pitzer - 2012-07-31 09:55

      Speechless......Time for a Shapiro cartoon with shower head and his cronies going over a cliff on their gravy train to economic freedom !

      Revelgen - 2012-07-31 09:57

      Fantastic! We have planes (bought via the Armsgate scam) that we cannot properly maintain, submarines that don't work, and an 'army' that stormed the Union buildings and is even unionised...? I mean, this is just nuts. Are we a civilised country or not? It is far past time to get rid of this corrupt, utterly incompetent ANC thing that goes by the undeserved name of 'government.' For all our sakes, especially the poor.

  • herman.heil - 2012-07-31 09:00

    Damn, SA is a very rich country, to have hidden and secret savings accounts, to give increases to useless government employees, to ignore the corruption money getting lost.......we don't have a problem with all this money, SARS can actually lower our taxes.......what a rich country we have!

  • Greg - 2012-07-31 09:04

    'Covert activities' - Purchasing BMWs and Mercedes under the radar...

  • herbert.plessis - 2012-07-31 09:06

    What do they expect? How else will the Zuma clan's villas in Moz be built? How else will the money be garnered for cadre's, who aren't civil servants have their medical and pensions paid?

  • pierre.coetzee.7 - 2012-07-31 09:07

    So, Minister of Finanace, I am not going to excempt MY income and spending for tax purposes!!!! Why can YOU hide YOUR spending and not us??

      martin.britchford.5 - 2012-07-31 09:09

      cash is king and off the radar,

      arthur.hugh - 2012-07-31 09:36

      Not always Martin - my dad tried that and lived a flashy life - taxman pitched up with assessors and nailed him for 10 years of not paying tax - bankrupted him, and he had to start from scratch again (lost everything - house, it's contents, 3 cars and two horses).

  • devon.riley.52 - 2012-07-31 09:08

    Cannot for the life of me see why the account should be secret. Can understand if we were at war that would be a different story, we have no real military threats in SA

      JHLR73 - 2012-07-31 09:43

      The answer is simple. It is secret because it is not used for the purpose it is suppose to be used for..Extra money in the pocket of the corrupt thieves. Things done wrong are always kept secret..

      Erna - 2012-07-31 10:13

      Change that to "we have no military threats in SA". The weird boeremag is going to jail for a long time.

      arm.witmens - 2012-07-31 13:41

      Devon, our special forces go on certian training excersises overseas. You cannot very well ask SAA to ferry 5 people with a small arsenal to say Saudi...or maybe you can. With this lot you never know

  • Swapie - 2012-07-31 09:08

    It just keep on getting better. Are we becoming like the USA with our secret funds? I think its just another way to steal from the tax payers.

  • clive.brink - 2012-07-31 09:11

    This can then only be a Slush Fund at best. With the rampant fraud and curruption with public money as displayed and proven ad nauseum, imagine the abuse and misaproriation if there can be absolutely no oversight of this Slush Fund.

  • arm.witmens - 2012-07-31 09:12

    this is standard practice across the globe...only difference here is, the money is not used for covert military operations, but personal gain, and no one accounts for it either

  • clive.brink - 2012-07-31 09:14

    Secret and Slush Funds, covert activities :- sounds just like the old apartheid days. Nothing's changed. R13B, imagine how many houses could have been built, schools, or text books purchased.

  • UNITY - 2012-07-31 09:17

    The ANC is a dictatorial democracy,one that misuses public money, applies rules that suit party policy and not people. Its becoming sickening to read of the amount of money that gets spent, and the lack of development in our country. SA is like a third world to worst disaster hit countries, which can still boast development and free trade that would feed its people then make them starve on the streets. The ANC lead government , is eating fat, sleeping in parliament, and milking the cow!!! A sick state of affairs.

  • lebo.radebs - 2012-07-31 09:21

    One of the biggest problems we face in S.A is that our president; ministers; councilors etc seem 2 not be accountable 2 anyone,, & in a case where they are brought 2 account, they shift the blame 2 next person & so forth. Apathy is another problem because most people who are meant 2 serve & account 2 the people who put/ voted them 2 those positions do not have a will 2 take the responsibility that comes with their jobs. Nothings seems 2 change, the ministers break traffic laws because they can, they use public funds the way they like because they can,,, I can go on & on about the things they do wrong. But @ the end of the day, there is just a total abuse of power because they cannot be held accountable 4 their actions.

  • morama.sebata - 2012-07-31 09:22

    This would only happen in the country where it's president has professorship with standard three...what more can you expect except for more looting on the pipe line.Wait for their s#it secrecy bill goes throug whereby a lot of people would go to jail for exposing same cr@p as this.

  • sisie.indola - 2012-07-31 09:22

    Amazing - "Animal Farm" once again. The more things change the more they stay the same. The only thing that changes is that the people perpetrating this seem to think that this is something new - oh well give them a noddy badge - for waking up.

  • charmaine.paterson1 - 2012-07-31 09:24

    The only time you see the SANDF is on payday when all the overweight soldiers come to town and do their shopping. They slouch around in their uniforms, chewing, smoking and shouting at each other. What a lean, mean Fighting Machine.

  • vivian.harris.73 - 2012-07-31 09:28

    R13bn in 3 yrs...for what?! Who we at war with? What use has the army or navy been? And people are living in poverty and uneducated. Why did the ANC take over the NP government then? Was it for the money, cause it doesn't seem that they did it for the people...

  • Sonnyjakes - 2012-07-31 09:34

    Slush slush, slush! Down the toilet it goes. Princess get her share?

  • kevin.kramer111 - 2012-07-31 09:36

    That's a lot of money to spend at Nando's !!!!!

  • bryan.culross - 2012-07-31 09:37

    I have always had questioned about Pravin Gordham ... remember he was the Commissioner for Inland Revenue and its was Inland Revenue that let Zuma off with merely a warning for tax evasion.

  • bomb.technician.5 - 2012-07-31 09:46

    My income is also exempted from government view, cash is king!!!!!!!!!! Live a royal life without being taxed on my "earnings",...if they can do it, I can do it.

      martin.britchford.5 - 2012-07-31 17:00

      ash is king and undetectable if used wisely

  • richard.zanner - 2012-07-31 09:50

    TO purchase weapons and ammunition - say I did not know we were at war. They cannot even maintain the planes and submarines bought during the last scandal. I believe the last attempt to drive a submarine ended up driving it against a wall in Simonstown.

  • eyesears.handsfeet - 2012-07-31 09:57

    Please explain to me why the government of the current day must be respected, if they keep on lying about everything that they touch? The whole bleddie lot of them are lyers and thieves! Exactly what the world outside want's. That way they even get more (ground, recources, minerals, etc.) because the government are willing to grind South African's into the ground with more taxes and what not, but don't have the balls to even feed, protect or clothed, it's own South African people. Keeping "secrest funds" what for? South Africa is not at war, so why must new weapons and equipment as well as covert activities be funded, as you are sure as hell not protecting the borders or the people of SA.

  • - 2012-07-31 10:00

    We have no treat from outside, maybe threats from within from disgruntle people who aren't getting the tools to be educated. R13B would go along way to resolving this issue I would guess!

  • anakin.skyvader - 2012-07-31 10:02

    Oh I wait a minute..since it IS a secret slush fund, then why not service SANRAL's debt with this secret fund: at least we will partially know where SOME of the taxpayer's money is going. I think OUTA can actually 'latch' onto this and query why motorists must pay toll-fees while R13bn disappears down a 'black hole'. My personal opinion on Pravin Gordhan is that he is a hypocrite, colluding with the ANC and treasury while preaching to us (the peasants that pay taxes) to save and be 'good citizens'. Every day a new 'black hole' appears in our economy and every time it's us the unfortunate taxpayer that must foot the bill.

  • Fanie - 2012-07-31 10:13

    The other slush fund we did not vote for went to the IMF ($2 bln) buy us influence in world politics!

  • magomarele - 2012-07-31 10:14

    I don't see this as anything different from CIA or Secret Services or some clandestine projects under United States' Defence Dept. I'm not trying to protect anyone, but I realised that as far as some military covert activities are concerned the public is likely to know very little if anything at all. I also recently learned that there were some undercover funds channelled in some covert operations of apartheid SADF to combat threat posed by liberation movements. Of course many a citizen didn't know that then and even now some still don't know. Those were taxpayers monies which were supposed to help in improving Health, education, roads etc across the country.

  • - 2012-07-31 10:23

    I think we are taking our naivety too far. National Security demands that most of our defense and national security issues are kept secret. We now want to count every fighter jet, bullet, grenade etc. People say we are not at war; which is correct. But we may be at peace because our army is a deterrent to potential aggressors. You want us to lay bare all our capabilities? No sane country will do so unless it is a nuclear bomb. The Defense Ministry and secret service get a budget vote and they account for it. That's where the scrutiny should end. If we have a country that doesn't have classified information, we will be like a naked person, or at best one without underwear...Or am I hallucinating on my addiction again?

      schalkwbu31ger - 2012-07-31 13:39

      With all the corruption in government it is really worrying that there is more stuff like this popping out at a faster rate all the time. More reason to know what is going on as most of the tax paying citizens can't afford to go on paying more and more but your income doesn't keep up. So I want to know how much is stolen from us the tax paying people

      simon.butelezi - 2012-07-31 16:16

      Thank you Teddy, we should not know everything because as soon as we know everything the enemy is likely to know what we know. Undercover operations are vital to any state.... for example look at what happened in Libya, as soon as NATO and friends knew what Libya's military shortcomings are, they attacked them. As soon as the SANDF and NIA's inner workings become public knowledge, someone is going to come and take us to the cleaners......... It's easy for the media to demand and say it's the taxpayer's right to know but when things become public knowledge, they open to manupulation at a bigger scale. Can't believe how dumb "news24" and its social commentators are.... Bloody agents

      kevin.kramer111 - 2012-07-31 16:51

      "Our army is a deterrent to potential aggressors..."? And whom might these aggressors be...? Swaziland...? Lesotho...? Possibly Mozambique...? Perhaps even Zimbabwe...? The South African army is a cesspit of AIDS, the navy couldn't steer a ship into the harbour, and the air-force pilots that have been seconded to fly, battle to land and take-off...! The money is being used to feed the trough that the government has its' snout in...plain and simple...

      martin.britchford.5 - 2012-07-31 17:06

      kevin during the coup attempt in lesotho the rebels killed 8 of our sandf on the first day, our army is probably helping overthrow the mali government and helping king mswati rape his country

  • amelia.basson - 2012-07-31 10:38

    We are stuck with a criminal government of liars & thieves and millions of desperate voters who want to believe their lies!

  • rob.bayliss.94 - 2012-07-31 11:35

    Visible or not, the question is how effectively was the money spent....will we ever know? What are we to do when all that is left of the apple is worms? You think I am being too pessimistic? Then take a look at:

  • dane.jenkinson - 2012-07-31 11:53

    Tax payers must be the biggest idiots in SA(Me included), we keep funding, they keep spending.............on CR@P!

  • komorison - 2012-07-31 12:16

    "The very word 'secrecy' is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths, and to secret proceedings." -JFK (not that he was any angel)These guys need to understand the work for US and are accountable to US, we the people, there should be complete transparency concerning the spending of OUR money!

  • andrew.mackie.90 - 2012-07-31 13:42

    Dont forget Pravin Gordham is a political appointment therefore beholden to the ANC party and not the electorate. So much for transparent and open governance.

      lwazi.sithole.9 - 2012-07-31 15:17

      Andrew, our defense should be of more importance to you than political appointments. This just means we spend just over 4 billion annually. That is a ludicrous amt, and of course its a secret, you want the world to know how little we spend, and thus what type of weaponry we probably have?

      andrew.mackie.90 - 2012-07-31 17:05

      Iwazi, we are not talking defence spending. It is the way in which secret funds are spent, which could be anything including funds being siphoned off into private accounts and corrupt officials and no accountability to parliament and ultimately the taxpayer.

  • lwazi.sithole.9 - 2012-07-31 15:14

    most of you people are retarded.. the reality of the story is that there is not story. do you think the rest of the world spend so little, all the journo has done via this pathetic attempt at creating a story is show the rest of the world how easy it would be to take SA because we have little to no real spending to our defense. What you should realise is that this hould never have come out. Now even Mugabe knows he spends more on his military then we do, thus we are of no real match to him. the UK; USA, Russia and China etc, spend this in a few months, not 3 whole years

      simon.butelezi - 2012-07-31 16:44

      my man, tell me about it........ we are just stuck with people who think RSA so so corrupt that it probably created the 2008 recession, eurozone crisis and all the war that we see on tv. If you going to inherit systems that were designed to only cater for 200 people then after 1994 the same systems are expected to cater for 20000 people it just impossible. There was no handover process as many fled thinking we are going to have a bloody war. 18 years later we sitting with people on the one side of the fence not really knowing how to move forward with change as they really do not know anything about governance, the other side of the fence you have people whining and calling others stupid and corrupt while they know very well they denied them education and dignity. End result is simple, total disaster as there is no cohesion from both sides of the fence! Let me come back to the matter at hand, we should be spending more on SANDF and NIA....... both organisation should not be answerable to the public but only be answerable to a select few like parliament or a committee created to deal with such high level information.

  • jannie.swem - 2012-07-31 17:19

    hehe covert shopping trips, and parties. that covert 7 series and the Panamera too...

  • rob.tubbs.39 - 2012-08-05 17:50

    Into who's pockets?.... If not spent on what? - fighting the enemy... Who by the way is the enemy? Who poses a threat to a 'take-over' in South Africa apart from the 'fed up' general populace - this however will be done via the ballot box. Watch out ANC, YOUR DAYS ARE NUMBERED.

  • gert.dupreez - 2012-08-06 12:30

    Excuse me "defence department was accountable to Parliament for the use of the fund." NO they are accountable to me and you not to that bunch of criminals in parliament.

  • richard.amblersmith - 2012-08-06 12:41

    untill recently i had a lot of hope and respect for pravin gordham but tragically he has let the anc code of conduct and ethics get the better of him

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