REPORT: Dept tenders to alleged SACP affiliated company questioned

BY CHARL BOSCH - DECEMBER 1, 2015

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has called on embattled Higher Education Minister, Blade Nzimande, to explain his alleged involvement in the handing of department tenders to a company with links to the South African Communist Party (SACP).

On Sunday, Rapport revealed that the organisation’s investment firm had been benefitting from the handing of Department tenders worth R235-million, to a company it reportedly has shares in. The article further alleges that the shareholding company, Letsatsi, received its first contract of R13-million from the National Skills Fund in 2011, two years after Nzimande became Minister, and that its work quality had been criticised for being shoddy.

Document obtained by paper also revealed that Nzimande, his deputy Jeremy Cronin and former Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula, were registered as trustees since its establishing in 2007, and that current Communications Portfolio Chairperson, Joyce Moloi-Moropa, had admitted to owning shares in Letsatsi worth R800 000, since being becoming SACP treasurer in 2012.

In a statement, DA Shadow Minister of Higher Education Belinda Bozzoli said the latest controversy proves that the ruling African National Congress (ANC) is more focused on personal enrichment, than serving the people.

“South Africa has experienced a wave of protests by students against their financial exclusion from institutions of higher education as a result of the chronic underfunding, [yet] Minster Nzimande has been denying that the situation is even a crisis, and falling far short of providing any leadership to address the matter,” Bozzoli said.

“The Minister must account for this serious conflict of interest and fully disclose the details relating to the tender process as well as the extent to which the SACP benefitted. As the head of the Department and the SACP, he must take responsibility for any impropriety”.