R50m missing from ANCWL’s social development arm – report

Ex-Minister of Women in the Presidency Bathabile Dlamini. Picture: Gallo Images

ANCWL president Bathabile Dlamini has admitted the league’s social development arm has collapsed and there are plans to lay criminal charges.

A sum of R50 million is reportedly missing from the coffers of the ANC Women’s League’s social development wing, according to the Malibongwe Women’s Development Organisation (MWDO).

The president of the league (ANCWL) Bathabile Dlamini has reportedly acknowledged that the MWDO has collapsed and that a sum of R50 million is missing.

The Daily Maverick reported that the missing monies are from an estimated R211 million in dividends the MWDO got from a BEE deal.

It was reported that the dividends were from a deal with Anglo-American dating back to 2005 and that the ANCWL had pledged that the monies would be used to support and develop a number of projects run by women across the country.

It was reported that the ANCWL’s promise had been that 10,000 women would benefit from the MWDO.

However, due to a lack of funds, a number of the MWDO’s projects across the country failed, which led to them being probed.

The publication spoke to the MWDO’s former officials as well as its beneficiaries and intended beneficiaries from Gauteng, the Western Cape, North West, Limpopo and the Eastern Cape about the various failed projects.

Dlamini reportedly agreed that the failed projects meant the dreams of the women beneficiaries had been “shattered” with their hopes for a better future dashed.

Dlamini was quoted as saying that the organisation’s officials had thought the money belonged to them and not to the projects run by women.

The ANCWL president said the league would be heavily criticised for this and would be blamed for failing to closely monitor the funds.

However, Dlamini said the ANCWL intends to approach the NPA  and lay criminal charges as well as report the matter to the public protector.

Dlamini told the publication that it is not her responsibility to keep a close eye on the organisation, which is a responsibility assigned to others, adding that she has no knowledge of what has happened to the money.

It was reported that the MWDO is the main beneficiary of the Malibongwe Women’s Development Trust (MWDT), which is also linked to the ANCWL.

Deputy Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and People with Disabilities, Professor Hlengiwe Mkhize, reportedly plays a key role both in the MWDO and MWDT.

The trustee of the MWDT is advocate Medi Mokuena.

Former KwaZulu-Natal ANCWL chair Sibongile Mkhize heads the MWDO, which is a non-profit organisation (NPO).

The deputy minister reportedly accused the head of the MWDO of stealing the organisation’s assets and alleged that she was barring individuals from accessing its accounts.

ANCWL secretary-general Meokgo Matuba also accused the head of the NPO of withholding the R50 million and an additional R400,000 the organisation received in 2018.

However, the head of the MWDO reportedly questioned why she has not been taken to court for this and said if investigations are ongoing, a case against her should be opened.

A former Western Cape coordinator of the MWDO Mpho Molaoa has accused the deputy minister of misappropriation, alleging Mkhize had overseen the diversion of R250,000 from the organisation’s coffers to fund one of former president Jacob Zuma’s banquets.

However, the deputy minister has dismissed the accusation, labelling it as “a blatant lie”.

Mokuena and the head of the MWDO have reportedly refused to abide by a summons by the ANCWL leadership which seeks an explanation on the missing money.

A former financial adviser of the MWDO, Musa Madonsela, also accused the organisation’s head and her team of collapsing the NPO.

The MWDO’s BEE deal with Anglo American was taken over by Exxaro in 2006, with the latter coal producer paying dividends to the organisation until 2018.

The deal was reported to be worth R9 billion in 2005 and it involved a number of politically connected beneficiaries.

Anglo American and Exxaro told the Daily Maverick it is not their responsibility to monitor whether the dividends were used to support the projects.

However, Exxaro’s spokesperson told the publication that the coal producer’s BEE partner, Main Street 333, and MWDO are partaking in an internal process to determine what happened to the money.

The publication broke down the amounts received by the MWDO based on analysis of the annual reports of Anglo American and Exxaro:

  • Over 14 years MWDO received R211.62 million
  • In 2005 the organisation received R16.8 million
  • In 2006 the MWDO received R13.28 million
  • In 2007 R6.5 million
  • And in 2008 R15.3 million
  • In 2009 MWDO received R8.18 million
  • In 2010 the organisation received R20.52 million
  • In 2011 it received R20.5 million
  • In 2012 R6.2 million
  • In 2013 R12.9 million
  • And in 2014 R3.54 million
  • In 2015 R8.7 million
  • In 2016 R12.8 million
  • And in 2017 R21.9 million
  • And in 2018 it received R44.5 million

(Compiled by Makhosandile Zulu)

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