Diagnosing the Free State Government’s illusion of Prosperity: Corruption, Capture and the Crisis of Mismanagement: EFF Reflections.
By Tshepo masita
14 November 2017
Ever since its formation, the EFF has relentlessly set itself on a tortuous course to expose the vulgar corruption and incompetencies displayed by the leadership of the ANC, which they ever so often perpetuate in consort with some of their networks in the neoliberal whirlpool.
Parallel to some of our most telling remarks on illicit financial flows in South Africa and the African continent alike, the Free State province independently, is no stranger to the cancer of systemic international financial crimes, which is not only facilitated by White and Chinese robber barons but also by a mushrooming contingent of Indian monopoly capitalists enfolded around Premier Ace Magashule.
The Province thus, presents perhaps not only a microcosmic illustration of the disease of state capture and economic mishandling, but a far-reaching version of the majestic illusion of prosperity exhibited by the wider gangster administration of Jacob Zuma.
It is now an open secret, that not so long ago, what was meant to benefit 80 disadvantaged beneficiaries in Vrede ended up in a pervasive money laundering scandal. Animated by the double prospects of being a political slave and a hostage to the fortune of the Gupta family, Ace Magashule has ruthlessly prescribed Provincial assets as a winning token for the sustained game of financial hopscotch he plays with the Guptas in transnational terrains. South African money latently crisscrossed through an international financial triangulation between South Africa, the United Arab Emirates as well as British and other global banks to ultimately fund a Gupta marriage.
Fresh evidence now indicates how the Guptas have once again targeted to use the Free State Province as a launching pad to send money received from their dealings with government to Dubai. As such, drawing from a joint investigation by Business Day and The Times it is now reported that an establishment known as Mediosa (run by Gupta associate Sunil Sachdeva) was presented with a three-year deal in 2015 by the Free State department of health. The seepages also reveals that rates of the scheme were sent to Tony Gupta way before the tender was granted.
In truth, assessing the theatre of dishonesty and corruption in the Free State no longer requires complicated investigative devices of Financial Journalism. Magashule and his army of bootleg Executives have set up a wide and open administrative laboratory to carry out illegal experiments at the most painful expense of Free State citizens.
As such, for those in the ANC collective who might perhaps dare to chest-bump and fist-bump in excitement over the supposed “achievements” of Magashule’s administration (we known some might hasten to cite the bogus and insignificant honorary doctorate conferred by the Bahcesehir University on the Premier) let us quickly draw you to an all imposing African proverb which proclaims that ‘some political administrations are like indecently dressed women. They only tempt the evil-minded’.
So we as the EFF in the Free State will never be seduced into believing that Magashule is a champion of the poor. Nor will we surrender to his evil doctoring and assimilate to a culture of amnesia, particularly on the criminality he and his disciples have meted out on countless scenes. Poverty stricken inhabitants are still expected to eke out a normal life, even under unexplained misdeeds that relate to the Mangaung Taxi Rank, the website scandal and the broader Ponzi scheme of Operation Hlasela.
Furthermore, thievery and corruption is now symptomatic of every aspect of government activity. The Department of Human Settlements is currently sitting with a financial fissure of R 631 million that dates back to 2011, of houses that were never build. Payments of these amounts were made illegally as there were no formal contracts with the suppliers and the project was facilitated without the approval of national treasury. Additionally, the education sector also sits with a financial overdraft of R800 million and around 7 municipalities (Nala, Moqhaka, Dihlabeng, Nketoana, Mantsopa and Tokologo) in the Province together owe Eskom nearly R5 billion.
Moreover, and shamelessly so, despite being the food basket of the country and one of the foremost suppliers of gold in the world. The unadorned truth is that under the stewardship of Premier Ace Magashule the Province has become one of the poorest in South Africa. The rate of poverty in the Province far exceeds the national average. This as research group IHS Global Insight Regional explorer recently indicated that our Province is still trailing behind the other provinces in terms of economic growth.
The Free State’s contribution to the national economy declined by about 16% between 2010 and 2017. Major sectors of our economy are also continuously weakening with the economic output of mining rapidly dropping from 50% to only 13%. The levels of unemployment have also increased substantially.
The scourge of weak financial management and implementation systems inevitably leads to massive disinvestment in the Province. All this factors coupled with economic instability and corruption makes the control of Provincial assets by Magashule and his apostles extremely risky.
We simply can no longer allow the ANC’s poisonous and falsehearted web of social anthropology to fester any further. South Africans deserve better!
Issued by EFF Free State