Sunday, September 20, 2009

Zuma's Job-For-Pals Gravy Train

He was a corrupt conman before and he is a corrupt conman now. Why is anyone surprised? That's how the JZ train rolls.

"It means that the tender was given to a buddy. I doubt if the tender process was done properly. This is how the ANC operates, giving its tenders to friends. If you are not a member of the ANC you won't get a tender"

ANC uses RDP money for Zuma party


President Jacob Zuma's benefactor, wealthy Durban socialite Mabheleni Ntuli, was awarded two lucrative tenders worth R30 million for the presidential inauguration in Pretoria.

Now opposition parties have raised questions about the tenders, implying that Ntuli's relationship with Zuma earned him the contracts.

The Ferrari-driving Ntuli has donated generously to Zuma's education trust and sourced money for parties at his home village of Nkandla.

Ntuli's Busile Investment was contracted to provide marquees, decking, stages, ramps, generators, floral arrangements, linen, chairs and tables to cater for the 5 000 guests who were invited to Zuma's inauguration.

The company also had to provide the theme, decor and design. Security for the materials and equipment was also a requirement.

This was revealed in a written reply from the Department of Public Works to a question by DA MP Winston Rabotapi.

The two contracts were initially worth R29m and R6m respectively.

However, the department said that due to "budgetary constraints" the first contract was renegotiated to R19m.

But with the second contract, the government ended up paying an additional R4m as a result of "additional requirements by the Department of International Relations and Co-operation". Ntuli pocketed a significant chunk of the R75m the government paid for the event.

Public Works Minister Geoff Doidge also indicated that the department was considering paying a variation amount of a further R4m as a result of additional requirements for health and safety standards and the weather conditions on the day. Zuma's inauguration was marred by sporadic showers.

Zuma was inaugurated on May 9, at a glittering event attended by his three predecessors, Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, flamboyant Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and foreign diplomats.

Justifying the choice of Busile Investment, Doidge said that the Durban-based company had met all the necessary requirements and had a track record of hosting events of that magnitude.

But Rabotapi said that the awarding of the contract seemed suspect.

"It means that the tender was given to a buddy. I doubt if the tender process was done properly. This is how the ANC operates, giving its tenders to friends. If you are not a member of the ANC you won't get a tender," said Rabotapi.

However, UDM president Bantu Holomisa said that Zuma was not yet a president at the time the tender was awarded and it was difficult to link it to him.

But ID leader Patricia de Lille countered this view by saying: "It's the same ANC government; even before Zuma became president (Ntuli) was still his funder".

"Most definitely there must be a political link to that tender being awarded to him. That's why the ID has called for the regulation of private political funding. There's no way (that) when a company gives the ruling party some funding that they would not look favourably when it comes to tenders. That's where the corruption comes in.

"Even during the election campaign many companies didn't want to give money to the opposition because they were afraid that they would not get tenders from the ANC government," said De Lille.

Ntuli is a long-time benefactor of Zuma, having donated handsomely towards the Jacob Zuma Education Trust.

In 2005 Ntuli gave the trust R50 000, but earlier this year he multiplied the initial donation tenfold - by donating R500 000.

He has also donated to previous fundraising efforts in support of Zuma.

But the presidency said that it had nothing to do with the tenders.

"What does that have to do with the presidency? The contracts were not awarded by the presidency.

"They were awarded by the Department of Public Works before this administration came into (office)", said communications manager Steyn Speed.

It was also revealed that seven companies had placed bids for the initial contract, ranging between R21m and R45m. Nine companies tendered for the second contract, with prices ranging between R3m and R15m.

Ntuli is known in Durban circles for his lavish lifestyle including designer clothes, Louis Vuitton handbags and celebrity-studded parties.

His fleet of luxury vehicles is said to include a convertible blue Bentley and a red Ferrari.

The KwaMashu-born multi-millionaire was at the centre of the controversial payment of R4.3m from the SA Social Security Agency to fund the annual Christmas party for poor children hosted by Zuma at his Nkandla homestead.

It was reported that Ntuli, through Busile Investment, had asked for and received R2.5m from the agency to throw a party for the people of Nkandla to thank them for their "unwavering" support of Zuma.

A further R1.8m was apparently paid to him a few days later to buy food parcels for the Christmas party.

Social Development Minister Edna Molewa had asked the Special Investigation Unit to probe the release of the money to Ntuli.

On Friday, Molewa's spokeswoman, Zanele Mngadi, said that they had found that the money went to its intended purpose and that there was no wrongdoing on anyone's part.

Repeated attempts to reach Ntuli were unsuccessful. - IOL

Hat tip: Amelia

2 Opinion(s):

AMB said...

Money laundering at its best. The Mafia would be proud...

Anonymous said...

Last I heard the mafia was sending people to SA for pointers. The ANC has perfected the art of corruption.