Flawed leases could cost govt billions

2012-08-22 22:35

Cape Town - Financial losses due to fraud and corruption regarding leases could run into billions of rand, Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi said on Wednesday.

At a media briefing at Parliament, he said 3 000 leases were being scrutinised, 500 of which had been audited so far.

"Our intention is to try and recover what was lost," said Nxesi.

In addition, the department was paying dearly for advocates to help with legal proceedings against officials accused of graft.

Nine officials had been charged, while another six were soon to face the music.

"To corrupt individuals, I want to leave you with the following thought: You can run, but you can't hide. If you steal from the poor we are coming to get you," Nxesi said.

Cases under investigation included the controversial R1.7bn police lease scandal with businessman Roux Shabangu.

The department had asked the high court to declare the lease agreement invalid.

"The state attorneys are handling this matter on behalf of the department. We are awaiting a date from the registrar of the court to set the matter down for hearing," Nxesi said.

Another matter involved the probe into former public works director general Siviwe Dongwana, which concluded that the reasons for his suspension were frivolous.

However, he would not be returning to his position.

After consultation with the minister of public service and administration, Dongwana's employment contract had been re-determined to be terminated on 15 August this year with a settlement payment, instead of July 2015.

Last year, it was reported Dongwana was the highest paid director general in government, earning around R1.5m a year.

Among others, the disciplinary hearing of one of two officials from the department's Johannesburg region, charged with misconduct, had been completed.

"The officials [Thabo Moagi and Desmond Simamane] received payments for motor vehicles as corrupt payments from the landlord.

"In the case of Mr Moagi R285 000 for a Golf 5 GTI; in the case of Mr Simamane a Nissan double cab to the value of R566 250 and various payments to the value of R635 000," said Nxesi.

The two were acting as both portfolio managers and members of bid specification and evaluation committees.

"Many of these bids were not advertised. They negotiated with the said landlord owning 10 companies and awarded 28 leases of which four [properties] were never occupied despite payments being made for three years in respect of these leases," Nxesi said.

The outcome of Moagi's disciplinary hearing was expected soon. Simamane resigned before his hearing started.

Police were also carrying out criminal investigations into fraud and corruption against Moagi, Simamane, and the landlord, he said.

  • christelle.james.7 - 2012-08-22 22:57

    No, it is not costing the government any money - they do not have money, they are not a business. It is taxpayers money minister. But thank you in any event for bringing what we already know back into the light. - 2012-08-23 01:31

      Unbelievable ....

      claudia.meads - 2012-08-23 02:41

      While a South African governmental minister is virtually on her knees begging and pleading with a bunch of inebriated numbnuts who contribute virtually nothing to the coffers. STAGGERING..! Time for the GREAT SOUTH AFRICAN TAX REVOLT..?

      thomas.obrian.92 - 2012-08-23 05:57

      Hear hear !

      john.fourie.18 - 2012-08-23 08:10

      @ Leonard: It is true. If ever you wondered what it will be like if the Mob became government, wonder no more. We are governed by mostly organized criminals.

      alan.jerrold - 2012-08-23 08:48

      Typical, typical ANC maladministration exposed yet again. The ANC is not a government's backside; utterly and completely useless. Just a fraction of this ANC-stolen money would cover e-tolling costs over and over.

      jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2012-08-23 10:09

      Leonard, I had the same thought. They are always going to get the crooks and I am still waiting for the first comrade to get jail time. Just empty words and nothing more.

  • glenda.mackay.18 - 2012-08-22 23:14

    What about the leases that have been signed by the goverment that are legal and rent not been forthcoming. What is being reported is not new in the property industry. If the property was owned by a 'White' owner leases would not be signed, the building had to be sold to a 'Black' owner and finance by the banks were given on the back of the lease agreement!

  • sisa.mtwana - 2012-08-22 23:37

    This country is drowning in the cess-pool of corruption. Please bring back the scopion. Everyone in government should sign a disclosure agreement(I mean everyone). So that the police or any investigating body can look into their national and International bank accounts. This corruption is definitely go to collapse the economy of this country.

      Desilusionada - 2012-08-23 00:01

      That has been said ad nauseum. It is now a race to see if the economy will collapse before the corruption ends? Now we are told the economy is strong and in spite of the KFC Champion chasing away investors, (and then later supposedly try charm them in London), the economy will probably not collapse. I just would like to see solidarity from central AND local government re crime, corruption, poor service, etc. in them doing something. Not making political speeches, not showing up at places where they do not contribute, stop flying all over the world, not blaming apartheid/Verwoerd/the past/whites, not trying to score cheap political points etc. I would like to see some corrupt/inept officials Performance Managed and then FIRED. It cannot cost more in court cases to fire a 1000, (and publish their names), than what these leases are costing..... I would like to see these same governments appoint 1000 skilled white people in places needed, in spite of AA/EE. I would like to see 10 000 black, (of all shades), people promoted in spite of NOT being "connected". The ANC will save themselves some couple of millions of campaign Rands and score votes like manna. Problem is Rome is in a state of combustion and the fiddles make such a noise that society is not heard.........

      thomas.obrian.92 - 2012-08-23 05:56

      Well said sisa, I think the majority of level thinking people will agree with you.

  • Tom - 2012-08-22 23:59

    And if you do get caught being corrupt you will a. Get a promotion in the ANC or b. Go to jail for 6 months - then contract a life threatening disease and get released - play golf everyday Corruption is WIN WIN in ANC - look how far it got our Presy

  • The_Bear - 2012-08-23 06:45

    The economic relationship between PRICE and VALUE is the issue here. If the PRICE is paid in HARD EARNED MONEY, then the VALUE will be high...if not, then the VALUE is low. Government does not earn comes from TRANSFER PAYMENTS (TAXES) it will never realise the true VALUE of hard earned money. This leads to the question of why do people expect Government to give VALUE for MONEY...its has never happened before and will never do so...not here not anywhere. The other issue that is more relevant is that the average appointee to these Government positions was born and lived in a shack for most of his/her life and caught a mini-bus taxi. Then the job comes and so does the house in SANDTON and the MERC. These new circumstances are not earned (like winning the LOTTO), so the appointee has no moral or ethic basis to make the correct decision...just pass the LOTTO winnings forward. This is always the result found in a patronage system, throughout history and geography. It destroyed Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome and will destroy RSA as well. Welcome to a new DARK AGE!!!

  • J.Stephen.Whiteley - 2012-08-23 07:01

    This South Africa, this platinum pearl set in a golden sea, is a litigation lawyer's paradise

  • sisie.indola - 2012-08-23 07:23

    So big of you to talk the talk, but it takes someone with real balls to walk the walk.

  • herman.heil - 2012-08-23 07:24

    Nothing will happen

  • brad.herbert.522 - 2012-08-23 07:26

    While the anc continues to lose these billions, the poor will remain in poverty and the very same poor people will continue to vote anc.

      heibrin.venter - 2012-08-23 07:43

      @brad: rather say: 'While the anc continues to SPEND these billions....', the money wasn't lost, it was stolen.

      brad.herbert.522 - 2012-08-23 07:52

      @Heibrin You are 100% correct. Thank you for pointing that out (we all know this except the anc supporters who will deny it, or blame it on apartheid) :)

  • linda.horsfield.77 - 2012-08-23 08:36

    This theft of taxpayers money will continue unabated until the incompetent and corrupt government insert a clause into any document signed by a government official that states that the signatory has the authority to sign this document - failing which they will be held liable in their personal capacity. This will never happen because it will not only stop the corruption, but put an end to the hugely lucrative legal cases that flow from these corrupt tenders, as well as the jobs for pals commissions which also just suck up millions more of taxpayers money without achieving anything. Just layers upon layers of corruption and waste of taxpayers money which could be avoided with a simple amendment to the documents!

  • andrew.mackie.90 - 2012-08-23 08:39

    The question should be asked are the ANC fit to govern this country? These morons have filled their pockets with our money (taxpayer) and continually harp on the great divide between the haves and the have nots. We read daily of fraud and corruption taking place within all forms of government stuctures and when it comes to recovery and bringing the culprits to book nothing happens. While the minister acknowledges this huge amount of fraud, how much more is undetected. Not to mention the wasteful spending by our government ministers. We as citizens are being milked by way of taxes to cover the cost incurred by these fraudsters. The great pity is the majority of people mainly the poorest will never hear of these things and when it comes to election time a T-shirt and KFC buys their votes with further unkept promises. This country is bleeding and unless the majority wake up to this fact we will continue on this downward spiral.

  • denis.dendrinos - 2012-08-23 09:38

    "To corrupt individuals, I want to leave you with the following thought: You can run, but you can't hide." - You will be re-deployed!!!!

  • jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2012-08-23 10:07

    There goes another bunch of houses that could have been build. What is the matter with these people?. Are they born crooks?.

  • colin.langley - 2012-08-23 10:20

    And the government goes Doo deedoo do do dooo deeed dooo dod doo doo dot daa dooooooooooo

  • Rob Allen - 2012-08-23 10:32

    easiest way to sort this is just vote anyone except cANCer, weaken this useless lot.

  • MSGRule - 2012-08-23 12:41

    It should read.....Flawed govt is costing Sout Africa billions again.

  • nic.campher - 2012-08-23 13:25

    Any government department needing assistance with leases please contact me or visit we have over 12 years experience in the property and rental industry.

  • masamune.azeem - 2012-08-23 14:02

    Lawyers your help here.I'm just wondering here, isn't it possible to sue the government for maladministration.

  • deus.exmachina.58367 - 2012-10-02 05:08

    Vote with your taxes people. Either you accept that your money is being used for corruption, or you don't. If there is a mass tax revolt, it will bring the government to their knees. I can only dream.

  • Jp van der Wath - 2013-10-21 15:53

    You are so right James, they do not work for it, but only demand that tax must be paid to be wasted by them

  • Jp van der Wath - 2013-10-21 15:55

    and then they still hold their hands out, asking for more from the world

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