OVERVIEW: 'You are the hope of South Africa' - COPE's Bloem to Zondo in #StateCaptureInquiry closing remarks

2019-02-01 13:00

The judicial commission of inquiry into state capture has heard testimony from former ANC member and current COPE spokesperson Dennis Bloem, who also served on the Parliamentary portfolio committee on correctional services.

WATCH LIVE | State Capture Inquiry 

(Courtesy of SABC) 

COPE spokesperson Dennis Bloem

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Last Updated at 05:18
01 Feb 13:18

01 Feb 13:18

Zondo excuses Bloem and thanks him for his time and testimony. 

The commission resumes on Tuesday at 10:00.

Zondo adjourns proceedings for the day.

01 Feb 13:14

01 Feb 13:12

01 Feb 13:11

Bloem now making his closing comments. "We must root this country from this corruption..." 

Bloem says there are other people out there who know about corruption and state capture, and they must come forward and assist the commission. It's not just the Department of Correctional Services. 

Bloem to Zondo: "You are the hope of South Africa, as we speak now." 

01 Feb 13:10

01 Feb 13:09

01 Feb 13:09

01 Feb 13:09

01 Feb 12:59

Bloem, emotional, pleads with the commission to investigate the death of Vernie Petersen.

01 Feb 12:59

01 Feb 12:58

Bloem: "It was never ever the policy of the ANC, it was never. The ANC was the most respected party, liberation movement in the continent, and in the world. 

Bloem: "Those things that have happened was personal greed. They were greedy, to stop me, and corruption. It was not the ANC. It was not the ANC policy."

Bloem says he previously served under former president Nelson Mandela for five years, and he also served under former president Thabo Mbeki. Bloem says they espoused the ANC's values. 

01 Feb 12:51

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01 Feb 12:47

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01 Feb 12:45

Zondo tells Bloem he is particularly concerned about Ngwenya's words to him, in which she stated: "Don't play with your luck."

Bloem is further asked about threats he received, phone calls from private numbers.

01 Feb 12:41

01 Feb 12:39

Bloem says ANC MP Winnie Ngwenya was sent to approach him in Parliament to "soften" him, to swing his opinion on Bosasa. During this interaction, Ngwenya made a colloquial reference to money, says Bloem.

"This is money... don't leave it," Ngwenya told Bloem, according to his recollection.

01 Feb 12:35

01 Feb 12:35

Bloem says he was accused of protecting "white capital" because he spoke out against Bosasa. 

Pretorius tells Bloem he's sure the irony here is not lost on Zondo...

01 Feb 12:34

01 Feb 12:27

Bloem references two occasions his office at Parliament was broken into, in a "high security" part of the buildings.

01 Feb 12:26

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01 Feb 12:25

01 Feb 12:25

Bloem asks to correct the part of his statement about Mentor.

Bloem says when Mentor was the chairperson, she called in and had discussions with Minister Balfour on this issue. 

Bloem: "She also attempted to address this". I just wanted to make this clear.

01 Feb 12:22

Zondo asks Bloem if it was raised with whoever the speaker was at the time.

Bloem: "The speaker was Max Sisulu... he was well aware of this. The chairperson of the ANC caucus, it's where all the members of the ANC, every Thursday, we are meeting. We even raised these problems to the chairperson of the caucus - it was Ms Vytjie Mentor, at that time." 

Bloem: "We raised it with her, and it was on the agenda once, to say here is this problem. So all the members of the ANC in Parliament was aware of this problem." 

But nothing was done, Bloem tells Zondo. 

01 Feb 12:16

01 Feb 12:16

01 Feb 12:15

01 Feb 12:14

"Chairperson, you see my hair is grey now?" it's because of those people, Bloem tells Zondo.

01 Feb 12:10

01 Feb 12:09

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01 Feb 12:03

Pretorius makes reference to the seven prisons involved in the catering tender originally awarded (in July 2004), asks what the value of the contract was per year. 

Bloem: "It was R240-million per year. It was a three-year cycle, each and every year this amount will be paid - R240 (million) this year, R240 (million) and R240 (million)." 

Zondo: "What we have just heard, is very concerning... in terms of taxpayers' money." 

01 Feb 11:56

Bloem tells Zondo he does not believe there would be any disruption to services in prisons if Bosasa was kicked out of the system.

01 Feb 11:55

01 Feb 11:55

01 Feb 11:55

Zondo sighs audibly again, and asks Bloem if it is possible that the minister would not be aware of what Bosasa was doing? Why are they being paid? 

Bloem says he raised it with (former correctional services minister Ngconde) Balfour personally, one on one and in study groups. People were aware.

01 Feb 11:49

01 Feb 11:49

Bloem, on the purported catering contracts Bosasa/Sondolo were awarded by the Department of Correctional Services. 

Bloem: "This catering tender was just money laundering. A money laundering scheme." 

Bloem: "Bosasa have said they are going to take over the kitchens and do the cooking and prepare food - it was a blue lie! The inmates were still doing the cooking, it was business as usual. I am talking out of experience, I visited these prisons." 

Bloem: "The inmates were still cooking. Sondolo had one office in the middle of the kitchen, one official, one of their people, was sitting there in that office. And they were just taking the money, Sondolo..." 

Zondo: "They were not actually doing the job?"

Bloem: "Chairperson, there was no labour, there was no labour from Bosasa. It was the inmates that have cooked, that have prepared food, that have dished out, for the inmates. I am saying, I am speaking out of experience, I visited physically, the prisons in the country."


01 Feb 11:41

Bloem: "The television installation was R224-million that was spent on the television sets." 

01 Feb 11:39

01 Feb 11:38

01 Feb 11:38

Bloem talks about farms that the Department of Correctional Services had where the department grew and produced its own food. The portfolio committee could not understand why it was to be outsourced.

Bloem says the portfolio committee was often opposed to outsourcing at the Department of Correctional Services, but proper processes were not followed. 

01 Feb 11:33

Proceedings resume after the morning break. 

01 Feb 11:18


Zondo, Nugent, Mokgoro, PIC… and why the ANC believes it to be immune 

At one stage on Wednesday, television news channel eNCA had a four-way split screen.

The channel’s executive producer had a choice of three inquiries and a court case to choose from: the state capture commission, the inquiry into Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi, the commission into the Public Investment Corporation and the high court application by 'premier league' heavy Supra Mahumapelo to nullify the ANC’s Nasrec conference.

And a couple of weeks ago the Nugent commission into the affairs of the South African Revenue Service concluded, which found that what was once the jewel in the crown of state had been gutted by Tom Moyane, a former prisons boss and friend of Zuma. And in Parliament the Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises started chipping away at the feeding trough state-owned enterprises became under Zuma’s corrupted leadership. Eskom, Transnet, the SAA, the SABC, Denel – balance sheets all massacred.

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