Orania's 'president' could lose his job over 'irregularities'

2019-04-24 14:39
Carel Boshoff, president of the Orania movement. (Supplied: Jaco Nel)

Carel Boshoff, president of the Orania movement. (Supplied: Jaco Nel)

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The purchase of Mercedes-Benz, a 45% salary increase, and a long list of accusations of mismanagement and infighting are some of the issues plaguing Carel Boshoff, president of the Orania movement in the Northern Cape, as well as his organisation.

These could jeopardise his position, Beeld and Volksbad reported on Wednesday.  

Orania is a whites-only town situated on the banks of the Orange River. 

Boshoff is a grandson of Hendrik Verwoerd, a former apartheid premier.

According to Sarel Roets, vice president of the Orania movement, its citizens council will meet in May to discuss these alleged irregularities.

The investigation stems from complaints that a former employee in the office of the executive council ("uitvoerende raad", or "UR") submitted last year.

The complaints include that Boshoff unlawfully purchased and used a Mercedes-Benz for R102 000, and that he increased his salary, called the "president's honorarium", by 45% to R22 000 per month.

This was done because he had been expected to perform additional office duties.

Boshoff's management of the organisation's growth fund is also being investigated.

Roets said the complaints were rooted in "a void in the leadership, that can be attributed to certain staff members' personal problems and conflict".

"After the complaints were received by the UR, an independent panel – which included forensic auditors – was established because the president had been implicated.

'No grounds for majority of complaints'

"There were no grounds for the majority of the complaints. It was found that there was no corruption, but recommendations were made to improve internal systems," Roets said.

"The citizens council will, however, have to decide whether an independent legal team should further investigate the complaints against Boshoff. Boshoff's position could therefore possibly be in jeopardy."

But Boshoff says he isn't losing any sleep over this.

"Just like with President Cyril Ramaphosa, any elected official's position is, in principal, always in jeopardy.

"Orania has solid processes and I am comfortable with these. I'm not losing any sleep." 

He said it made him uncomfortable that, while internal processes were underway, half truths were being brought into the open by people who had problems with these processes.

'Afrikaners' money being squandered'

Some of the other issues being investigated include allegations against several former officials and staff members of the organisation, relating to overseas travels, conflicts of interest, a loan from the growth fund, and a general lack of governance.

It was also recommended that other organisations be investigated. These includes Gousblom Ontwikkeling – a company that counts among its shareholders the Orania Beweging Helpsaamfonds – and Solidariteit Helpende Hand.

Members of the movement said they wanted to bring the issue into the open as "Afrikaners' collected money was being squandered", and that they feared a "cover-up".  

*This article appeared in Beeld and Volksblad and is published with the permission of the former title's editor. 

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