Limpopo: World Cup-style courts on standby

2012-01-19 22:42

Johannesburg - A forensic investigation into bankrupt Limpopo's possible R2bn shortfall starts this week, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Thursday.

"As and when any evidence of breaking the law is revealed by the forensic investigation, the perpetrators will be charged, whether they are government employees or service providers, and we will have special courts, World Cup 2010 style, on standby," Pravin said.

He was briefing the media on Cabinet's initial findings into the province's financial crisis.

At the end of last year it emerged that the province could not pay its civil servants and was broke.

This was because of its large accumulated unauthorised expenditure which had grown from R1.5bn in 2009 to R2.7bn in 2011, Gordhan said.

Five departments - finance, education, health and social development, public works, and education - are under complete control of national government while the remaining departments are operating under guidelines provided by national government.

Gordhan said: "National Treasury will have to restructure the province's finances in order to find savings of R2bn to cover the shortfall."

So far, teams had found that the health department owed suppliers R138m, but only half these payments, R67m, could be verified and approved for payment by December 23.

Another R427m in assets had no supporting documents, and there was R400m in irregular spending on goods and services, mostly medical equipment.

Education Minister Angie Motshekga said there was no supply chain management in the education department, with the department not ordering pupil support material on time.

It had accumulated unauthorised expenditure of R2.2bn and there was a R190m accrual of "stale debt" - money owed.

At least 200 "ghost" teachers were paid and there were 2 400 excess teachers in the province.

Certain schools had not got the money they needed in 2011 for basics, such as electricity and photocopying.

Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi said the modification of existing contracts to push up tender values and consultancy fees contributed to the financial crisis in that department,

"A security contract of R1.8m a month - and I am not saying a year - a month - was extended without proper procedures from 2010," Nxesi said at the briefing.

Other findings were supply chain violations, tenders awarded without proper processes, and no asset management.

"We cannot run government like this," he said.

Transport Minister Sbu Ndebele said there was no contract management system in place in the province's transport department and no oversight of the Limpopo Roads Agency.

Gordhan confirmed that Limpopo's treasury had an overdraft at the South African Reserve Bank of R757m in November 2011 and wanted to increase it by R1bn.

It also wanted another R500m on its overdraft facility from a commercial bank.

The bank refused because National Treasury would not guarantee repayment on Limpopo's behalf.

Limpopo Premier Cassel Mathale had co-operated, but some of his officials were trying to sabotage and discredit national government's efforts.

Cabinet's move to take control of Polokwane was initially described as a ploy by President Jacob Zuma to discredit Mathale.

Gordhan dismissed this claim, saying, "... No other province has a cash crisis which requires a billion rand bail-out".

  • Matthew Patrick - 2012-01-19 23:08

    It seems Zuma's key pieces are in place and they are about to take the queen (Mathale). It's only a matter of time before a checkmate on Malema. Funny how they knew this was going on and are only acting now. 2012, year of the Magaung, is going to be very interesting!

      Matthew Patrick - 2012-01-20 05:37


      Squeegee - 2012-01-20 06:40

      Clinton, definitely the 'end of the world' for some politicians.

      Squeegee - 2012-01-20 06:44

      Limpoopoo is an easy target, and they get to go after Juju before Magaung. Lets see them do the same with the Eastern Cape which is in an even bigger mess. They won't because its the heartland of the ANC.

      Jerhone - 2012-01-20 07:28

      a world cup style court for world cup style clowns from a world cup style ANC idiot

      procold2 - 2012-01-20 08:02

      its all a game,but whats not funny is the amounts that are in question,no wonder the condition of the raod, towns are what they are

      Merven - 2012-01-20 08:35

      Between the floods and the investigations Limpopo is going to be very clean!

      Sean - 2012-01-20 08:37

      School children amongst other innocent people and organisations were unfortunately caught up in the saga because of greed and mismanagement/incompetency! Children are willing to learn, but are unable to do so because they don't evn have the paper to write on or the basic necessaties required to even think about trying to pass their grades at the end of the year!? It seems that the kids even have to study under candlelight while some greedy folk have the biggest and best of everything they can land their hands on, not only for themselves, but probably also for their families! May justice take it's toll. It seems that there are a lot of that need a good kick up the j...k!

      Ann - 2012-01-20 11:48

      @ Clinton - it's not literally the end of the world - it's just a change in consciousness, which will most definitely tie in with the time line. A lot more corruption and scandals will surface at this time ... Personally, I can't wait!!!

      John - 2012-01-20 21:29

      “ The Gang of Four Chinese Communist Party members came to power during the Cultural Revolution (1966–76), and were charged with a series of treasonous crimes. The gang consisted of Jiang Qing, Mao Zedong's last wife as the leading figure of the group, and her close associates Zhang Chunqiao, Yao Wenyuan, and Wang Hongwen. In 1980, the trials of the Gang of Four began. Among the prosecution’s charge of actual crimes were the usurpation of state power and party leadership; the persecution of some 750,000 people, 34,375 of whom died during the period 1966-76. It was at this trial that Jiang Qing made the famous quote: "I was Chairman Mao's dog. I bit whomever he asked me to bite." Jiang Qing was sentenced to death in 1981. “ Source Wikipidia. I was inspired to write a song commemorating the death of such evil people: Shoot the dogs, Shoot the dogs, Shoot the dogs of Mao Tse Tsung! Auss! Auss, Auss! Auss! Auss Auss! Shoot the dogs, Shoot the dogs, Shoot the dogs of Jiang Qing! Auss! Auss, Auss! Auss! Auss Auss! Shoot the dogs, Shoot the dogs, Shoot the dogs Gang of Four! Auss! Auss, Auss! Auss! Auss Auss!

  • Call_Of_Muti_3 - 2012-01-19 23:10

    I blame...wait for it, wait for it... The Colonial Imperialist Agents of the West and their Counter-Revolutionary Coconuts Masquerading as Comrades and Loyal Cadres of the A N F******* C. But most of all, I blame Apartheid. Because accountability is not a Pedi word and there is no reason why the ANC should follow white tendencies by following proper administrative procedures. VIVA ANC VIVA.

      Adam - 2012-01-19 23:14

      U forgot to use the word "condem" ...thats a local favourate now.

      menitsa.deroubaix - 2012-01-20 06:22

      Typical, blame it on the white people

      Merven - 2012-01-20 07:34

      Bloody agent bastard! You with your white tendencies, get out!!

      Garth - 2012-01-20 07:53

      @c o m 3 - should have slipped the word mischievous in there too. The useless, useless anc loves to misuse that word in describing their critics.

      Spyker - 2012-01-20 08:54

      Yep, 'ACCOUNTABILITY' is clearly part of the 'Woodwork' syllabus, since '94...

      Grant - 2012-01-20 09:41

      well I blame Helen Zille. Don't ask me why, it just seemed a good idia at the time ;-)

      danie.malherbe1 - 2012-01-21 12:19

      @Adam, and "... is not on the ... agenda!" Another favourite. "Good Governance" and "Limpopo" I presume.

  • Cracker - 2012-01-19 23:14

    Now irrespective of what is being proposed specifically for Limpopo, why don't we have the proposed system of the same for the rest of the country to deal with ALL alleged criminal offences? The WHOLE country is crying out for such efficiency. If the special arrangements can be implemented in one area then surely other areas should also be equally privileged. But we know what will happen. Refusal to give the required details to the defense, lawyers being hired and fired, legal aid issues, etc. We have heard and seen it all in other matters. How will it now be different? If the problems could not be controlled in the rest of the country up till now they will not be administered into oblivion as per the wishful thinking for Limpopo. One can only shake your head in astonishment.

      Zebelon - 2012-01-20 15:49

      @ Cracker - These are senseless assumptions. By the way, did you want to say: "One can only shake ONE'S head in astonishment"?

  • Geronimo - 2012-01-19 23:29

    Pigs at the trough.

      Werner - 2012-01-20 01:16

      Oh no you being racist. Better paint yourself black and steal taxpayer money. You ANC supporters should be so proud of yourselves for contributing so much to civilization..... Not.

  • KCorsar - 2012-01-20 00:07

    and that the asset Forfeiture Unit have containers on standby to pick up the ill gotten gains. Best this not be an early practical joke...but the Honourable Minister Ghordan isnt known to crack silly jokes

  • Nyiko Ngobeni - 2012-01-20 00:20

    Do it NOW and do it for all provinces! No witch hunting pls..

      Werner - 2012-01-20 01:19

      And usevthe western cape as template.

      Merven - 2012-01-20 07:37

      Well said Nyiko.

      kholofelo.theko - 2012-01-20 08:22

      I concur with you guys, all provinces must be investiagetd. Is Zuma that scared of Malema that he can use state institions to destroy him?

      Sean - 2012-01-20 08:52

      yes' why not audit all provincial offices before it is too late and before 100 billion goes un-ackounted for! The longer it takes to notice wrongdoing a lot if the money has long gone disappeared and very difficult to trace to the real culprit with his/her hand in the cookie jar! This audit is way overdue one can't ignor e that!

  • Odicito - 2012-01-20 00:29

    Take those fools to the cleaners! I dont care if this is done to get back at anybody, sooo much money wasted and that province has been bad for a long time. We have formed a youth organisation trying to hold our local municipality accountable - its impossible, they dont allow us access to anything. Its disgusting!!!

      danie.malherbe1 - 2012-01-21 13:02

      Where are you guys trying this initiative, I'd really like to hear more. Btw, Odicito's comment is the first that I've encountered from the public, you and me, in a very very long time that's actionably positive. This is the suff of successful economies - actionably positive initiatives from you and me. Odicito, tell more!

      Odicito - 2012-01-22 00:34

      Hi Danie, the initiative is in Limpopo, where a bunch of young people from villages within the same ward are coming together and discussing ways to 'do something' after were have been part of meetings, discussions, 'action groups', etc. We decided if we need to see some real change we actually have to go out there and do something. Voting (+ trying to convince people to vote differently) and other ways were not enough, as it is hard in these parts of the country to really get people to change their minds. So the initial step was to try and hold the municipality accountable as it is - a mission which is proving to be more and more difficult as up to date records are too hard to get! The other big challenge we have is that a lot of the members of this group are not based in those areas, but get to meet 3 times a year as we are all spread across the country. I'm currently too far in the western cape! Issues we address include anything from checking and asking for progress on programmes promised to actively being involved in mentoring and helping schools and pupils with information necessary for them to make the career choices, trying to get internet into these schools, exploring ways to get solar power in these schools, gardens, etc. Its a whole bunch of things which I cant list all here. Thanks for the interest.

  • Tswaledi - 2012-01-20 00:36

    Why did Zuma and his cabinet wait until now? how many times did the media report about tender irregularities? One journalist (Piet Rampedi) is even labeled a "criminal" for reporting on Malema tenders. Of course during that time Malema and Mathale were 100% Zuma supporters, now that they are less than 0% Zuma supporters, action is being taken on their province, who is suffering? the ordinary paople on the ground. Zuma only cares about himself and his province, that's why he can't even pronounce Limpopo, (this goes to other cabinet memebrs and MPs).

      Odicito - 2012-01-20 07:57

      My problem is that 'people on the ground' give very little support to initiatives started to hold local municipalities accountable. Talking from first hand experience!

      Makhosazane - 2012-01-20 09:17

      They acted now since the province requested a bail out in Nov - something no other province has done yet. Bailout request means we have chowed the money to the point that there is no more to chow and continue operating. The political ploy is just a defense they using.

  • Taetjo - 2012-01-20 00:40

    Let the games begin. Punish those ANC punks please... I bet you Malema has his fingers somewhere in the cookie.

      Merven - 2012-01-20 07:38

      Only his fingers? Rather his whole upper body!

  • Klaus - 2012-01-20 00:44

    Limpopo is a case of AA and BEE in full swing. Nepotism and cadre employment at its best!

      Werner - 2012-01-20 01:21

      Personified BSOD... Eeeeeeeeeeeeeehhhhhhhh.

      Anthony - 2012-01-20 06:19

      should the anc not be taking to court?

  • Denzil - 2012-01-20 00:55

    Well there goes 153846 Houses that could be built.

  • heinrich.crouse - 2012-01-20 01:38

    I will bet real money that no high ranking official will be charged. Pravin is making the right noises, but I doubt he has the balls to address this crime against the people of South Africa.

      Nyiks11 - 2012-01-20 10:05

      enter Thuli Madonsela

      Moss - 2012-01-20 11:53

      Thuli has been quite lately, wonder who showed her barrel of Kolashnikov!!

  • Juan - 2012-01-20 03:13

    No wonder that malema idiot has become so rich in that province, it is fertile soil for the corrupt

  • Motho - 2012-01-20 03:17


  • peterjohnjnb - 2012-01-20 03:47

    Would the last person to leave SA, please turn off the lights....simply outrageous!!

      Ben - 2012-01-20 04:48

      Escom wont last that long. The last people will have to leave in the dark.

      Brendon Alberts - 2012-01-20 07:09

      Don't u mean Blow out the candle ?

  • Ben - 2012-01-20 04:55

    The two main oblectives of the whole exercise should be, in the interest of all the people of this country, to get all money back and put the perpetrators in jail. This way the A.N.C. can clear its name. This should be done in all provinces, government and parastatals. If not, the A.N.C. should step down.

      Jerhone - 2012-01-20 07:37

      your way means there will be no ANC left all the cockroaches will run and form new parties and we'll start all over again

      Archie - 2012-01-20 07:54

      Ben ,parasites do not abandon their host, specially if its fat and stupid to boot.Drink till you drop off and then find a new host.As one can see liberation fighters dont make good administrators.

      Moss - 2012-01-20 11:55

      Limpopo is just the tip of an icebag, wait till you see NW, NC, EC, MP etc.... Its gonna get mercy, ohh I forgot, lets open the arms deal too!!

  • Ben - 2012-01-20 04:56

    The two main oblectives of the whole exercise should be, in the interest of all the people of this country, to get all money back and put the perpetrators in jail. This way the A.N.C. can clear its name. This should be done in all provinces, government and parastatals. If not, the A.N.C. should step down.

      Ben - 2012-01-20 04:57

      Sorry, objectives.

  • Johan Grobbelaar - 2012-01-20 05:49

    Haha! U voted anc. Shame.

      Ben - 2012-01-20 06:34

      No, but I have sympathy with their incompetence. I also want them to get the money back because I have more sympathy with the poor people who are suffering as a result of their greed. Now I want them to know what it feels like to be poor if everything is taken from them.

      Merven - 2012-01-20 07:40

      Ben, how many of the money they get back will go to the poor people? Above these corrupt fools are more corrupt fools investigating the corrupt fools etc.

  • Comrade - 2012-01-20 06:29


      Warren - 2012-01-20 10:02

      You mean Limpoep*l???

  • raymond.kok3 - 2012-01-20 06:31

    mr Gordhan i dare as a matter of fact i double dare you nobody will lose their job they will just be shifted to another portfolio to plunder at will. you mean to tell me that 2billion is missing and your investgaters have not find anything up to now.what about the tenders according to you there was no procurement guidelines so start with the DG in that department and topple the first domino

      Sicelo Magagula - 2012-01-20 07:31

      They must investigate thoroughly first before they can take a decision. Always complaining all the time. Wrong mentality

      Jerhone - 2012-01-20 08:02

      Raymond you're right nothing will happen, the ANC reminds me of a plat anne frog that when needed to look ferocious blows it's jowls up but is harmless when it comes to disiplining it's members they have a complex of lets cover up this and that so the whites can't say we told you so, blacks can't rule they will rather put the perpertrator in another portfolio than fire him, it is a spineless organization finish and klaar

  • Johan - 2012-01-20 06:44

    Ja , please make sure Mathale and Malema is first in line . . . .

  • Deeteem - 2012-01-20 06:49

    It took them soooooooo long to work this out when the Eastern Cape has been an open pit toilet since ..... well FOREVER !!!

  • Wouter - 2012-01-20 06:54

    They will all get a slap on the wrist and a performance bonus.

  • Tshepo Moshophe Sekepe - 2012-01-20 07:01

    Irrespective of how you are fond of the perpetrators, we won't support poor governance. 200 Ghost teachers reported to be on a payroll,come on! Mr Mathale may be a successful politician but certainly an amazing poor administrator. The worst part is that no one has been made to pay for this embarrassment.

      Archie - 2012-01-20 08:07

      All these perps, are picked by their party affiliations not by merit so you get what you voted for,look to West cape and try another party next time

  • Julie - 2012-01-20 07:02

    Get those "special courts" ready. They are going to be very busy

  • Lloyd - 2012-01-20 07:02

    "a biliion rand bail out"...what the heck??? what ever happened to PFMA??? heads should roll....but they'll get reinstated on appeal....sad!

  • Andrew - 2012-01-20 07:07

    Yes, this is Juju's province.....he really knows how to "manage", but hey, everyone. More tax payers money down the tubes......

  • SarelJBotha - 2012-01-20 07:19

    If these things work the way it should, I am sure the jails will be even more crowded. Hopefully this time, the ones at the top, who is respicible, will also take the fall for their actions and not just the minnows.

  • John - 2012-01-20 07:21

    I am glad that at last accountability within government is starting, it must now spread to all other provinces and politicians need to be afraid,

      Jerhone - 2012-01-20 08:05

      this is just all huff and puff to fool the taxpayers once again to cough up without a riot

  • Charmain - 2012-01-20 07:29

    What can u expect from the anc hey are a bunch of bloody thieves.Zuma the biggest one now the people in hospitals must suffer no food bring back he old gov had more

  • Newsreader - 2012-01-20 07:41

    Will Tutu be there to cry? another F*#cking taxpayers circus by the ANC!

  • SeeVeeDeeEl - 2012-01-20 07:41

    Zuma doesn't care two hoots about bad government. He is just eliminating his enemies.

  • Michael - 2012-01-20 07:42

    They should of started and instituted "World Cup" style courts for the arms deal years ago - never mind the bankrupt Limpopo!

      Archie - 2012-01-20 08:02

      Cant do that, there would not be any ANC/commie/cosatu leaders left to ruin the country

  • Graziella - 2012-01-20 07:42

    Limpopo should be donated to Zimbabwe. That province contributes nothing to this country other than Muvhango.

  • Wayne - 2012-01-20 07:46

    Take a bow, Pravin. Let the games begin!

  • Maitseo - 2012-01-20 07:54

    funny how they only noticed when it got to billions of rands. how does the national treasury allow them to get to an overdraft of R757m in the first place? someone must have noticed when things went bad. how does the president see this as discrediting Mothale? its pure finance,money is missing and someone has to be responsible. the leader takes the fall, thats why he's on top.

  • Garth - 2012-01-20 07:57

    "We cannot run government like this," he said. WE KNOW! But what the f--- are you going to do about it? You prattle on in your archaic socialist rhetoric, saying nothing and meaning even less. Lying, thieving, hypocritical, ignorant, arrogant anc bastards.

  • Archie - 2012-01-20 08:00

    Cassel, take a bow, yours is the most corrupt province in RSA.At this rate you and julius are in the running for the presidency,see a doctor so if things go wrong you can do a Shaikie or a Jackie.

      Tshepo Moshophe Sekepe - 2012-01-20 10:57

      Hope the president and the ANC NEC will open their famous machine gun in the right direction. Someone has to take the blame.

  • Michelle - 2012-01-20 08:05

    This is shameful. Every year the matric results from Limpopo comes out and the news reports how badly they've done. They interview school kids, principals and teachers who have been saying for years that they have no resources. They haven't had teachers for most of the year - and only now will they admit that the province has been squandering money from Education and other sectors. 200 ghost teachers being paid!!! Its a disgrace. To those kids from Limpopo who have made it into tertiary education under these circumstances.. I admire you and you should be very proud.

  • Perfume5 - 2012-01-20 08:06

    When is the thieving going to stop with the Association of National Criminals, do they have any conviction at all with all this thieving. 200 "ghost" teachers, how is is possible these phantom teachers were receiving a salary. Misappropriation of company funds, should be a straight to jail card without any bail. I am still trying to get around the R2billion shortfall!

  • kholofelo.theko - 2012-01-20 08:13

    Public protecter findings and recommendations, ministers were just sacked and Cele suspended. Clearly double standards being applied, Zuma's using state institutions to fight Malema, rapid results needed before Mangaung. Shame he's being so transparent, oh I forgot, his corruption charges were dropped.

  • MarkH - 2012-01-20 08:15

    I have news for Pravin and his merry men - the rest of the country is in the same boat but it's obviously not politically expedient to mention it. How do they think certain individuals - all ANC cadres - have gotten so wealthy, so quickly, why the roads are falling apart, why the education standard is so low? Too many hands in the till, too many cadres appointed for their vote gathering abilities, too many hangers-on, too many wives, too many tenderpreneurs and too few people carrying the weight with their taxes. The writings on the wall for the ANC and it's about time, they've turned a once prosperous country into a circus.

  • Assis - 2012-01-20 08:22

    I certainly do not hear Julius Malema making noise about the Limpopo goverment oh I forgot, nationalization is a focus, never mind that provincial goverment is in tatters....Give Pravin Gordhan a Bells !

  • Cindy - 2012-01-20 08:31

    Send them to TENT prison in Nothern Cape and let tem dig water canals from the Orange river in chain gangs

      Anthony - 2012-01-20 14:58

      and only one teespoon of water a day.

  • chiepner - 2012-01-20 08:31

    Everyone knew the vast amount of corruption and dismay that rules Limpopo for the past 10 years. With "hit man" taking out key political figures just for what seems to be greed and money it was more than obvious. The only reason the ANC is sorting this out now is because their once allies started to try and upset the apple cart which if one looks at it if it came into reality would probly seen the entire SA being run like the Lompopo spaza shop of today. Now the billion rand penny has dropped and Zuma is cleaning house in what I should say a very creative and savvy way. Maybe a warning for all those other "comrades" in other provinces who is thinking to dare and go against the current ANC regime? Fact is Limpopo is not the only province who is in trouble. We have Mpumalanga falling in the exact same boat - when last did you travel through a town without dodging the ever increasing pot holes? Eastern Cape is another one - probly even more so than Limpopo and lets not forget some departments in Gauteng as well. This is what happens when corruption and maladministration is left unchecked. It runs like wild fire, destroying wealth and even lives. I hope that this is the start of something much bigger in the current ANC. They are propogating a return to old values and just maybe its a sign of even more intervention by National Government to root out the cancer that has infiltrated Government and the entire ANC as a whole. I doubt......

  • Nyiks11 - 2012-01-20 08:39

    "Cabinet's move to take control of Polokwane was initially described as a ploy by President Jacob Zuma to discredit Mathale." again Limpopo is now being confused with and referred to as Polokwane , perhaps the journalist has never been anywhere past Hammanskraal

  • Andrew - 2012-01-20 08:46

    Another circus! "We cannot run government like this," he said. Oh but you are! The Govt have been aware of this for nearly 3 years yet nothing has been done. Ineptocrats rule.

  • Mahomed Dawjee - 2012-01-20 08:47

    Not sure whether to laugh or cry

  • Douglas - 2012-01-20 08:48

    What a hoot!!!

  • SirFGrumpy - 2012-01-20 09:11

    Limpopo bankrupt, riddled with corruption. Malema has a big involvement in this province especially with major projects! I suspect Comrade "I eat cake, drink champagne and live in Sandton while you in a shack and starve" Malema has his dirty fingers in this till drawer!