Controversial politico gets top tourism job

2012-09-17 22:37

Mbombela - Mpumalanga has appointed a controversial politician to head the provincial parks and tourism agency despite his role in attempts to sign away 32 of the province's game reserves as collateral in a massive offshore loans scheme 10 years ago.

Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza and his MECs approved the appointment of Jacques Modipane as the chief executive of Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) during a recent cabinet meeting.

"Mr Modipane's appointment was approved by the Executive Council during its sitting of 5 September 2012. His appointment was with immediate effect," department of economic development, environment and tourism spokesperson Mohau Ramodibe told African Eye News Service.

Asked if Modipane's track record with the MTPA was considered, Ramodibe was quick to point out that the department's MEC Norman Mokoena was not part of the shortlisting or interviewing panel that appointed Modipane.

Altogether 10 candidates were shortlisted from a possible 52 people who applied.

In the past, Modipane resigned twice as provincial finance MEC and was once suspended from the ANC after he was implicated in the secret issue of six illegal promissory notes worth R1.3bn in 1998.

On 27 October 1998, he wrote to ANC Johannesburg headquarters and then president Nelson Mandela pleading his innocence.

Despite this, then Premier Mathews Phosa accepted his resignation in October 1998 after he instructed forensic auditors Gobodo to investigate the promissory notes scandal.

When Ndaweni Mahlangu replaced Phosa as the province's premier, he again appointed Modipane as an MEC.

On 12 May 2000, Mahlangu, however, had to ask Modipane again to resign after Gobodo’s final report "heavily implicated" Modipane in the scandal.

At least three of the notes, issued by the then Mpumalanga Parks Board (MPB), had the signature of Modipane and were allegedly issued to shady brokerage Fenetic Investments with his approval.

Fenetic's owner, Moshe Regenstreich, was wanted for fraud, diamond theft and dealing in chemical weapons. He was on the run from the Swiss police and Interpol at the time.

The deals between MPB and Fenetic were also branded illegal by then national finance minister Trevor Manuel and the Reserve Bank and were cancelled by Judge Willem Heath in July 1999.

Modipane first denied that it were his signatures and insisted they were electronically or manually forged.

Then MPB chief executive Allan Gray and two prominent provincial politicians close to Modipane, including former ANCYL provincial secretary James Nkambule, were arrested on 72 financial misconduct and fraud charges.

Gray died shortly after all his assets were auctioned off by the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) while Nkambule died mysteriously in October 2010.

Before his appointment as MTPA chief executive, Modipane worked as the secretary to the provincial House of Traditional Leaders in Mbombela.

The MTPA has stumbled along since Modipane’s tenure as MEC and Gray at the head of the agency.

In 2008, the entire senior management resigned or were dismissed after less than one year in office.

Some of the departing managers were apparently pushed to resign as the MTPA board, under the leadership of Lassy Chiwayo, began to grill officials about apparent performance failures.

Chiwayo was later deployed to Mbombela local municipality to save it from ruin before the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

ince then, Premier Mabuza's cabinet has loaded the MTPA board with politicians like former Ehlanzeni district mayor Jerry Ngomane, who is the chairperson, and former Thaba Chweu mayor Clara Ndlovu, as Ngomane’s deputy.

They both have been removed as mayors in the past.

Since the MTPA has struggled with its budget, it has pulled out of funding the Metro FM Awards this year after it paid more than R11m to host the awards at the Mbombela stadium last year.

Mokoena, who heads department of economic development, environment and tourism, the MTPA's umbrella department, decided this year that the Metros would not be funded.

Last year, MTPA employees were afraid they will lose their benefits after contributions were not paid across to their medical schemes and provident funds.

At the time, former MTPA chief executive Charles Ndabeni sent a memo to all staff blaming the department for the delays in paying the schemes and funds.

When contacted for comment on Wednesday, board chairperson Ngomane promised to respond to written questions but had not done so by Thursday midday.\

Modipane could not be reached on his cellphone as it was off.

MTPA spokesperson Kholofelo Nkambule said the board believes security vetting processes were undertaken before Modipane was appointed.

"The results of the vetting cleared the chief executive officer, Mr Jacques Modipane, hence the confirmation of his appointment effective 10 September 2012," she said.

  • lacrimosewolf - 2012-09-17 23:12

    "Apartheid has left a legacy of fragmented local authorities and bureaucracies characterised by corruption, nepotism and inefficiencies" Ready to Govern: ANC policy guidelines for a democratic South Africa (

  • kim.buren - 2012-09-17 23:15

    Oh, what the hell. Why don't they just appoint Shabir Sheik as Minister of Finance

      Billy - 2012-09-18 01:08


      clivegoss - 2012-09-18 07:17

      That comes next, dont rush things now.

  • keith.recore - 2012-09-17 23:40

    I checked the calendar, it is definitely not April fools

  • carl.v.rooyen - 2012-09-18 00:13

    All aboard the gravy train with biscuit wheels ! Choo choo!

  • dan.ledwaba.5 - 2012-09-18 00:58

    They must be running out of ppl to appoint. He's going to sign our last few rhinos away as collateral for some more offshore loans. I will NEVER vote anc again, they have lost it totally.

      Gerda Malherbe - 2012-09-18 05:26

      Dan, that's the only way. Not to vote for them and to kick them out on their fat BEE, corrupt asses. I didn't think it would be possible to be more corrupt than this bloke, but crime pays every time in the ANC. Jobs for pals, thats our Mparalanga leaders

  • letsekang.masepe - 2012-09-18 01:06

    The ANC will never stop corruption,this crook was disgraced years ago for stealing money,I rest my case,I also doubled checked the calendar, it is definitely not April fools

  • Billy - 2012-09-18 01:11

    this just goes to prove, even if you remove the so called "leader" they just get put back into the anc for recycling. then we sit with the same problems, and whites or apartheid gets the blame.

  • chhpurdy - 2012-09-18 01:42

    Just close the door and switch off the lights. It's hopeless. No point in getting upset

  • nzapheza - 2012-09-18 01:51

    Ha! Didnt Kgalema Motlanthe recently lament cdes getting caught with their hands in the till? Out of 10 candidates, they had to go with this flawed individual. Im afraid this is the kind of appointment that is fast eroding the credibility of the ruling party. I bet Modipane will soon be up to his old tricks, just like Phil Mohlahlane, appointed 2 head Limpopo Transport Authority after allegedly looting the Land Bank. Why cant the ANC get rid of scumbags like this out of its ranks for good?

      koos.strydom.923 - 2012-09-18 05:32

      The reason why you cant get rid of of scumbags like this: The people that has to fire them had their hand in the same cookie jar. The maths are simple: "You fire me - - - I will tell on you"

      gerrit.vanpletzen - 2012-09-18 06:34

      Maybe the other shortlisted candidates do not have such sterling records as the incumbent.

  • pawel.poniatowski.3 - 2012-09-18 02:35


  • FeebleGastro - 2012-09-18 03:24

    In the end South Africa won't just be another failed African state, the way it is going now, it will be the most failed African state. And to think they inherited the most functional African economy from those horrible apartheid masters. They managed to eff that up like only they can.

  • lionel.defrontignac - 2012-09-18 04:48

    Jobs for pals aka cadre deployment; what's new?

  • tsietsi.mshengu - 2012-09-18 05:03

    So this is what the middle class should accept according to Blade Nzimande? This is the time when leaders take action, but not Zuma and his ilk. I'm beginning to doubt even Motlanthe. Will he make a difference? I don't think so. It seems the whole alliance is corrupt to the core. I give up.

  • roland.gemmell - 2012-09-18 05:22

    What is all the fuss about? By the sounds of his "credentials" I am surprised he is not in a much higher position. Fraud, corruption, mis-management, etc, etc - perfect credentials for an anc "big wig". !!!! It would be a good laugh, except for the fact that it is "our" counmtry that they are stuffing (have stuffed up!).

  • brionyl.french - 2012-09-18 05:22

    Is this Retard Week? Why would anyone give this power to someone who couldnt care less. DUMB AND DUMBER!!!

  • koos.strydom.923 - 2012-09-18 05:28

    I will keep on repeating the following in response to the current ANC advertising regarding 100 years of selfless struggle. Shoud read: "82 years of selfless struggle and 18 years of self enrichment"

  • ro.jhb.1 - 2012-09-18 06:23

    Sadly the contempt that the thieving ANC have for the masses. Equally as sad is that the criminal ANC has made the masses stupid by giving them inferior education. You get what you vote for so masses please understand jobs will not be forthcoming as while you are beholden to the ANC for your R200 month grant you will vote for those aholes.

  • maureen.churchill.9 - 2012-09-18 06:29

    I don't know why you are all moaning, you only get a top job once you have had your fingers in the till, and he has so he qualifies. Next promotion ambassador

  • gerrit.vanpletzen - 2012-09-18 06:31

    That's right. You have to have the worst people in the top jobs in this country. It's a recommendation to have been fired under suspicious circumstances, and an added bonus if you can add to your resume that you are corrupt and self serving. The people who then appoint you will know that whatever you steal, will be shared with them, and that you are just like them. Fat corrupt pigs rooting in the mud and sh*t for self enrichment. What a disgraceful lot they are. At least you can say they are transparent in what they do, because they don't give a damn if anybody knows what they are up to.

  • lawson.lutchman - 2012-09-18 07:00

    Viva, cadre, if someone could point me to the umemployment and buffet line....

  • sisie.indola - 2012-09-18 07:01

    Oy vey! Eish!

  • clivegoss - 2012-09-18 07:16

    Why didn't Matthews Phoza have him shot back then ?

  • zhen.adams - 2012-09-18 07:17

    Dumb mpumalanga government. That is why they can appoint a corrupt ceo. In that tourism agency only people who are friends with the bosses get a promotion and people who are hardworking get no promotions because they are not willing to lick behinds. That agency is going to the dogs as we can see based on their current appointment

  • stephen.king.900 - 2012-09-18 07:27

    Same old same old. Dosnt matter what baggage you have in the form of corrupt theiving ways,if you are connected you get the job

  • Zahir - 2012-09-18 07:38

    Eish those anc comrades always with their hands in the till together we can steal more

  • J.Stephen.Whiteley - 2012-09-18 07:57

    "The results of the vetting cleared the chief executive officer, ..., hence the confirmation of his appointment ..." Who did the vetting, the local witchdoctor? Kathy

  • ingrid.oberholzer - 2012-09-18 08:05

    Good Bye Game Parks and the rest of the world. Just like Zim. We must start taking photos like National Geographic has done in Canada to show our future generations what South Africa used to look like.

  • birgit.schurmann.54 - 2012-09-18 08:52

    Only in RSA

  • Bra Tebzaah Sibilanga - 2012-09-18 09:17

    Wow it pays to be corrupt in this corruption-infested country.I have also applied but didi not get the job because I was just going to fire the incompetent lot and replace them with competent and experienced robots who will do the job.

  • winifred.watson.9 - 2012-09-18 09:57

    This is exactly why this country is like it is at the moment. Crime Pays big time, the bigge the crime the better the job. Absolutely disgusting.

  • magdie.vanheerden - 2012-09-18 10:01

    Just another appointment to protect politicians from being caught in the rhino poaching crisis.

  • mbusi.t.nzimande - 2012-09-18 10:04

    Corrupt officials getting jobs from the government,no surprises here,just another day in South Africa

  • Tim Elliott - 2012-09-18 10:50

    Where does this all end?The intellect,integrity and pride of these so called ANC cadres is beyond a joke.No wonder donor nations have largely abandoned Africa...just not worth trying to understand the wicked and deceitful behaviour of the leaders at all levels of African countries led by SA!

  • zs5zk - 2012-09-18 20:17

    The F@ck!ng CRIMINAL GETS A TOP JOB. Now Wild life is going to be sold to the Chinese and Vietnamese.

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