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Ashwin Willemse ­ (R61.4-million) and Jerome Brauns (R61.4-million)

Willemse, a former Springbok rugby player, and Brauns were McKenzie’s business partners and helped Gold Fields to structure its 2010 empowerment deal.

Neither Brauns nor Willemse responded to questions.

Goldfields: Ex-con McKenzie’s cronies given R330 million amaBhungane 17/1/2014

From the 380,000 people working on SA’s gold mines in 1995, the figure has dropped below 116,000. From being the world’s largest gold producer for decades, SA has quickly slipped into eighth place, with output of 140 tonnes in 2017.

Employment on platinum mines has dropped to less than 170,000 from a peak of 200,000 a decade ago.

Alan Seccome Business Day 24/5/2018

It was a single sentence in a comment below a Politicsweb article on the verbal disagreement between Ashwin Willemse and his co-presenters Nick Mallett and Naas Botha that alerted one to what most South Africans are unaware of, have forgotten, or don’t want to know about. Ashwin Willemse creamed R61 million because he is a close friend of one of the alleged ‘New Guptas’, Gayton Mckenzie.

What is telling is that Willemse has not denied the amaBhungane claim neither has he sought legal redress for a media report which would undoubtedly be defamatory if it was not true, provable and if its disclosure was not in the public interest.

Tsunami of sleaze

The ANC’s Tsunami of Sleaze is predicated on an indisputable fact.

In the maelstrom of corruption scandals, today’s tale of ANC infamy – which according to Pravin Gordhan has cost the country more than a hundred billion rand – is simply overtaken by a multiplicity of further accounts – too many to keep track of.

R61 million!

What did Ashwin Willemse contribute to the common good in general and to the mining industry in particular to justify such an astonishing perquisite?

I ask the question because 34 miners were killed and 78 critically injured two years later at Marikana while protesting about their living conditions and their struggle to make ends meet.

I ask the question because the front page lead in Business Day on 24 May was

AngloGold job cuts add to mining’s woes

The producer is set to shed 2,000 posts, with fewer than 116,000 people still employed in gold mines

The mining sector has lost about 60 000 jobs since Willemse was made a multi-millionaire overnight, so perhaps he can tell us why and what his gargantuan pay-out did to ameliorate that situation and whether any of that money will be used to succour the 2000 souls shortly to lose their livelihood at Anglogold.

The background to Willemse’s bonanza was the fact that Goldfields invested billions in setting up its South Deep mine but lacked to street smarts to ensure that the requisite mining licence was obtained first.

That’s where the ANC –  which, to fund its election campaigns set up the Arms Deal scam and ensured that Cell C got the third mobile phone licence – had Goldfields over a barrel.

Who to bribe?  That was the essence of the Goldfields dilemma which was later to play itself out in the USA.

According to Helen Zille, the Speaker and aspirant ANC president, Baleka Mbete, was the recipient of a brazen R25 million Goldfields bribe. Writing in her book about the ANC’s Bribe-based Black Elite Empowerment scam, Zille says:

“Today, for example, most people, including ANC supporters, recognise that Gold Fields’ acquisition of a new mining licence, in return for a R25-million stake in the deal for ANC chairperson Baleka Mbete in 2013, was a bribe, not broad- based black economic empowerment. A respected New York law firm confirmed this. That acknowledgement, and the accompanying outcry, was a big step forward towards debating more ethical, and truly broad-based, forms of redress that South Africa urgently needs.”

If Zille is correct how, other than a bribe, do you describe the monetary benefit with which Willemse was blessed and which he seems to have done nothing to earn?

But why did a former rugby player get twice as much as the Speaker in parliament and a leading member of the ANC hierarchy?

I mean Mbete had a proven track record of dodgy deals ranging from the driving licence scam as outlined by the Moldenhauer Commission – which saw a whistle-blower hounded to his death –   to the Travelgate scam,  serious smallanyana skeleton stuff from a cover-up artist of note. Ask Gengezi Mgidlana, he’ll tell you.

Perhaps Nick Mallet and Naas Botha can put the question to Willemse next time they are live in the Supersport TV studio.

In the meantime the looting goes on and on and on.

When it comes to snouting, the ANC is always up for it but when it comes to explaining the snouting to parliament then ‘the Collective’ gets sick en masse and succumbs to mysterious ailments again and again and again and again.

  • The former chief executive of the Social Security Agency, Pearl Bhengu, was too sick to explain to parliament the R16 million paid for just three bunfights that she signed off on – all part of R1.3 billion in irregular expenditure during the 2016/17 financial year.
  • After 24 years of pandering to its deployed cadre civil servants, the ANC belatedly acknowledges that government’s wage bill is no longer viable
  • The dysfunctional Department of Water and Sanitation racks up billions in wasteful and irregular expenditure yet no one faces any sanction and no attempt is made to recover the money. In fact, parliament is told that the responsible illegally-deployed cadres will be given another bite at the cherry – that’s how the ANC rolls
  • Transnet spends R18 million on a forensic audit which reveals that Brian (Sam Browne) Molefe arranged kickbacks for Gupta-linked companies which corruptly raked in  billions of rands – but no action has been taken and no action will be taken
  • The North West Provincial Legislature racks up R167 million in irregular expenditure but no attempt will be made to recover the money or to sanction the deployed parasites responsible
  • Eighty seven municipalities have been looted into dysfunctionality by the African National Congress
  • Wasteful and irregular expenditure by these municipalities has increased by 75% in the past financial year
  • Billions are spent on bailing out SA Airways while school children drown in pit toilets
  • Our public health system has effectively collapsed
  • The Public Investment Corporation and the Industrial Development Corporation have been turned into troughs by the ANC’s deployed cadres but no attempt will be made to recover the money – just as no attempt was made to recover the R2 billion stolen by ANC cadres from the Land Bank and the R2 billion stolen from the Cape Town municipality when it was under ANC control.
  • Always happy to look after its high-living friends the ANC hosts the spendthrift Pan-African Parliament officials in the lap of luxury at your expense and mine. Does anyone know what this parasitical organisation does and does the ANC care?
  • The state broadcaster stumbles and fumbles from crisis to crisis to stuff-up to stuff-up and there is no sign of the hoped-for R3 billion bailout because after two decades of the ANC’s untrammelled theft, the cupboard is bare
  • To avoid a PR disaster the ANC hastily suspended a branch secretary, Thabang Setona, caught on camera assaulting 55-year-old Olivia Mokete outside Luthuli House but then, with typical ubuntu, left it to civil society to solve her problem – living in a hovel two decades after the dawn of democracy as the blue-light convoys careened past
  • Always appreciative of an MP who knows how to keep tjatjarag women in their place, the ANC’s Nasrec delegates voted Mduduzi Manana into place number 27 out of 80 on its National Executive Committee. True to its patriarchal traditions it ducks and dives to avoid accountability on the latest Manana scandal and does not ask why the SAPS has done absolutely nothing to investigate the sexual harassment claims of Louisa Wynand against the unspeakable Marius Fransman
  • We know that our Minister of State Security, Bongani Bongo, is a man of refined habits because he is quite happy to spend R147 000 – your money and mine – for the luxury of unlimited time in the shower but what is one to make of the fact that the ANC still calls him an ‘Honourable member’ six months after he was accused of offering a bribe to the evidence leader of parliament’s state capture inquiry — Advocate Ntuthuzelo Vanara?
  • Determined to avoid human rights accountability and firmly siding with its despotic friends, the ANC continues to engineer its breakaway from the ICC – while it continues to deny the Dalai Lama a visa
  • And in the meantime the ANC’s grassroots assault on the poor – so graphically illustrated in the East London Madiba funeral scam – continues in municipalities like Thaba Chweu
  • And what is one to make of the fact that the SA Defence Force allows its animals to starve and that the only comment has come from the Freedom Front Plus? Do we just accept it with a resigned shrug as we did when Numsa members embarked on an orgy of destruction in Booysens in July 2015 and poured petrol over a dog after trussing it up with wire and then set it alight – without the slightest condemnation from the ANC ?

If it hasn’t been lost or broken or stolen you know that titanium bolts have been used to affix it firmly to bedrock as far away from Loot-freely House as possible.

In stentorian tones, Cyril Ramaphosa, announced at Davos that the days of the ANC oozing corruption from every orifice, every follicle and every pore were over – and then, with an exquisite sense of irony, he appointed one of the State Capture architects, Arthur Fraser, as head of our prisons.  Devoid of any sense of ethical probity, the ANC leaves it, once again, to the Democratic Alliance and our courts to counter this travesty.

And, as Barney Mthomboti cogently points out, Ramaphosa does not explain to the nation his complicit and continuing silence about his role in facilitating Zuptoid plunder in one parliamentary vote of no confidence after another.

We are grateful, nevertheless, for whatever respite he can give us but judgement is deferred until one of the ANC’s high-level looters goes to jail. We are also mindful of what Tony Leon trenchantly pointed out – Ramaphosa can only do what the ANC allows him to do. What is clear from the hourly litany of corruption scandals however is that ‘the Collective’ wants to steal from the fiscus for as long as possible to the detriment of the poor.

And waiting in the wings, in serried ranks are the aspirant snouters for whom Ashwin Willemse is a role model. They also want R61 million in return for doing nothing for the common good and they hope that they won’t be murdered in the process.

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Ed Herbst started his news career as a photographer with the Natal Witness in 1968 but quickly switched to reporting while retaining an interest in photography. He joined the SABC in its Pretoria news office as a camera reporter in 1977, one year after television was introduced in South Africa. In 1978 he was seconded to the SABC’s Windhoek office for six months to cover the run-up to the country’s UN-monitored election and was then posted to the SABC’s Sea Point news office. He asked for early retirement in 2005 because of pervasive SABC corruption, news censorship and unaddressed abusive treatment of staff. From 2007 to 2009 he was employed as a consultant in the media department of the Cape Town municipality but became a pensioner when personal circumstances forced him to retire. He now writes without remuneration for local websites about the interface between media and politics. He is writing a book on media capture after 1994.