Citizen reporter
3 minute read
30 Sep 2019
1:00 pm

Malema and EFF get R15m in ‘kickbacks’ in Tshwane fuel scandal – report

Citizen reporter

The red berets stand accused of using their influence in cities where they emerged as 'kingmakers' to earn themselves payments.

EFF CIC Julius Malema briefs media at the EFF Headquarters in Braamfontein, 5 September 2019. Picture: Neil McCartney

While the last report released by investigative journalists amaBhungane looked at how City of Johannesburg contractor Afrirent allegedly paid for a tractor the EFF “donated” to two Limpopo communities, a new one suggests that the party may have benefited from similar “kickbacks” in the City of Tshwane.

Tenderpreneur Hendrick Kganyago – one of the beneficiaries of a half a billion rand contract to supply Tshane with fuel for three years – is alleged to have paid R500,000 to a company believed to be an EFF slush fund.

According to the report, Kganyago’s company Balimi Barui Trading (BBT) should not have been awarded the tender in the first place as it charged the city inflated prices.

The full report can be read here.

Following the release of the report, amaBhungane wrote a separate piece explaining why they think the R15 million Kganyago paid the EFF amounts to corruption.

“There is a growing body of evidence that EFF leaders are extracting ‘rent’ from procurement streams in areas where they have, or may be perceived by contractors to have, sufficient power to influence procurement outcomes. This would apply pertinently to the cities of Johannesburg and Tshwane, where the EFF emerged as kingmakers after the 2016 municipal elections,” the publication writes.

City of Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba’s spokesperson told The Citizen last week that a forensic report dismissed the notion of political interference on the part of the City.

The Citizen was unable to reach Kganyago or EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi for comment at the time of publication.

The City told amaBhungane they did overpay BBT as well as two suppliers, but claimed this was an honest mistake rather than the result of collusion, adding there was no proof BBT did anything wrong.

READ MORE: There’s no such thing as a free tractor: Malema and the City of Joburg kickbacks – report

They denied that BBT took them for a ride by bidding on low prices for fuels the City didn’t use only to charge extremely high rates for the two types it did use.

“Whether there was collusion or wilful negligence, it is yet to be proven if such is the case. At a committee level, value for money was taken into consideration and the City is still of the view that the award made was in the best interests of the City.”

The EFF recently announced at a memorial service for former Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe that it would ban amaBhungane, as well as The Daily Maverick and its investigative journalism unit Scorpio, from future party events.

The amaBhungane tractor story was met on its release with responses from EFF leader Julius Malema and Floyd Shivambu’s spokesperson, Mbuyiseni Ndlozi.

Malema called veteran journalist Ferial Haffajee a “fool” before continuing to insult her in Sepedi after she suggested the party should “rebrand as an entrepreneurial party, not a socialist revolutionary one”.

Shivambu also reacted to Haffajee’s tweet, saying that “Stratcom agents” were not only “controlled by factions” but were also “dim-witted” because they supposedly haven’t read enough about socialism.

“This is actually very embarrassing!” he added.

Ndlozi, meanwhile, accused “Stratcom fools” of having no proof that the EFF influenced Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba’s City of Johannesburg government to give Afrirent a tender.

(Compiled by Daniel Friedman.)

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.