Tuesday, July 14, 2009

ANC protecting Land Bank looters

'Tis easy. Where there's rot, look to find the ANC's fat grubby KFC-putrid fingers in it.

Net closing in on former Land Bank executives - IOL 12 July 2009 -
Senior former Land Bank executives and a former Gauteng politician will be arrested this month on charges of corruption, MPs have been told. The revelation comes two years after auditors hinted at massive corruption at the bank, which is responsible for helping emerging farmers.
Black farmers failing
More corruption: Land Bank dossier damns Xingwana
Theft 'covered up' at Land Bank
ANC blows your dough like a drunken sailor
ANC covers up NINE key reports

...But wait..!

ANC cadres protected at cost of transparency and good governance

The ANC government has again proved its contempt for the principles of an open and democratic society by insisting that the names of senior politicians suspected of fraud not be made public. During a parliamentary portfolio meeting on agriculture, Deputy Minster of finance Nhlanhla Nene asked that Mr. Phakamani Hadebe, chief executive of the Land Bank, be afforded "political protection" in order to avoid having to disclose the identifies of alleged corrupt senior politicians (see article).

There is no reason for this to be necessary, save to spare corrupt officials from public scrutiny. If the investigations should then show that some of the suspected politicians are not guilty, their names would be cleared as a matter of course. But the only inference that can be drawn is that the ANC is aware of the fact that senior members of their party are severely implicated.

The very basis of an open and democratic society relies on transparent institutions and public oversight. Nene's actions are indicative of the serious moral quandary in which the ANC finds itself and the possibility that "political protection" will become a loophole to bypass accountability.

The deputy minister speaks on behalf of the National Treasury which is supposed to have a firm grip on government spending. The fact that a concept such as "political protection" has entered the parlance of the executive bodes ill for fiscal discipline in other government departments.

The DA will at the next opportunity submit parliamentary questions to the Minister of Finance, requesting that he:

* Provides a list of all politicians suspected of committing fraud at the Land Bank.
* Explains what is meant by "political protection" and whether this practice is planned to extend indefinitely.
* Explains whether the ANC is planning on installing as a precedent "political protection" to cover the magnitude of corrupt practices under investigation.
* Explains whether "political protection" can be invoked by other government institutions if its expenditure is ever scrutinised by the treasury in the future.

The cost of returning the Land Bank to a going concern is borne by all South African citizens. It is highly irregular to expect that those responsible for its failure should receive protection solely based on their affiliations to the ANC.

Statement issued by Dion George MP, Democratic Alliance shadow minister of finance.

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