Recommendations given by Chief Justice Raymond Zondo in the fourth part of the report of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture suggest that money be lawfully recovered from former Free State Human Settlements MEC Mosebenzi Zwane, and the department’s then head of department Moses Mpho Mokoena, as well as other officials who were involved in the R1 billion housing project debacle.
Zondo has also said that an investigation should be launched to help the National Prosecuting Authority determine whether Zwane, Mokoena and others should be charged with fraud arising out of the misrepresentation on which the advance payment scheme was based, with regard to the project.
“There is only one way to describe the Free State R1 billion housing project of the 2010/2011 financial year: dismal failure - a debacle! By the end of that financial year, after the Free State department of human settlements had spent more than R500 million, there were either no houses that had been built for the poor people for whom the provincial department was required to build low-cost houses or there were so few houses built, compared with those that were supposed to have been built, that they are not worth mentioning,” the report reads.
On Friday morning, the presidency received the fourth part of the report of the commission.
The first part looks into the attempted capture of the National Treasury, EOH Holdings and the City of Johannesburg, as well as Alexkor.
Volume two focuses on the Free State asbestos project debacle as well as the Free State R1 billion housing project scandal, while the rest of the report is about capture at state utility Eskom.
The Chief Justice goes on to criticise then premier of the province, Ace Magashule, for not taking the necessary steps against Zwane, but instead moving him to another department.
He explains that Zwane’s “dismal” performance continued when he was appointed as the MEC of agriculture and land development, with the debacle of the Estina dairy farm in Vrede unfolding during his tenure.
The report said: “After such dismal failure, Mr Mosebenzi Zwane should not have simply been shifted to another department as an MEC. The premier should not have allowed him to continue as MEC.
“As it turned out, in the portfolio to which the premier shifted Mr Zwane, which was the department of agriculture and rural development, Mr Zwane continued his dismal performance, which resulted in the Estina dairy farm debacle that is now well known and is to be dealt with in a later part of the commission’s report.”
The report states that either Zwane or Magashule should have been removed for what had unfolded in the Free State, however, the ANC had not taken any active steps which ultimately showed that the buck stopped with the organisation.
The report continued: “Why is it necessary to focus on the ANC in this regard? It is necessary because, effectively, it is the ANC that gave the people of the Free State Mr Zwane and it is the ANC which gave them the premier who failed to intervene when Mr Zwane and his department wasted more than R500 million of taxpayer’s money which was meant to be used to build low-cost houses for poor people in the Free State.
“It is also necessary to focus on the ANC because it is the ANC which would have prevented the provincial legislature from removing the Free State premier even if some members of the legislature would have thought of tabling a motion of no confidence in him. In these circumstances, it is justified to focus on the role of the ANC in the failures of the Free State provincial government in delivering services to the people of that province and in failing to use taxpayer’s money properly.”
Zondo said he believed that the ANC and its leadership were not monitoring and supervising the performance of its premiers, despite having been aware of all these failures in service delivery
The report reads: