2024 Elections: ANC using anti-graft efforts as ploy to win

Political analyst suggests recent anti-corruption arrests, including Bojanala's municipal manager, are timed for upcoming elections.

The elevated efforts in the fight against corruption have to do with next year’s much-anticipated general election, according to political analyst and senior researcher from North-West University, Prof André Duvenhage.

“The anti-corruption campaign is gaining a bit of momentum. This is against the backdrop of a government that failed to react to the findings of the Zondo commission,” he said.

“It seems to me as if they are influenced by pressure from components of their (ANC) constituency. The individuals who are arrested are meaningful to them, as it gives a picture that they are acting against corruption. However, I do not think that it will touch powerful politicians. It is a selective process.”

This comes after Bojanala district municipality’s manager Pogiso Shikwane was arrested last week on corruption-related charges.

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In 2019, Bojanala received R134 million in erroneous payments from the department of local government and traditional affairs. The money was not returned. Sikwane is out on R10 000 bail.

The forensic report, which was tabled before council last week, recommended that the money be recovered from those service providers who did not do the work as had been contracted.

The current municipal manager, Lehlogonolo Fourie, was also placed on precautionary suspension after paying R26 million to some of the companies that allegedly benefited from the R134 million.

One of the controversial payments (R407 750) was allegedly made to Meme Ditshego Enterprise on 14 May, 2019 for transport, lunch and decor for 350 guests.

The company also received many payments from the municipality in 2019. For instance, it was paid R400 000 to transport people to attend the Integrated Development Planning (IDP) forum.

“The arrest is welcomed but we need to ask why it took this long. All the district municipalities in the North West are dysfunctional and need to be dissolved and functions be given to local municipalities,” said Freedom Front Plus councillor Abri Rootman.

ActionSA’s Kwena Mangope called for the local government to recruit competent people.

“It is clear we have people with no competence at the local government level. We intend to fix the municipalities once we come to power because they have direct link or relationship with the people.”

The municipality allegedly spent R700 000 for an event to officially open a small office in Swaartruggens in 2019, which was paid to Matshego Projects to transport people there.

Other payments were made to Otlema Trading and Projects CC, Likopane Liboko Trading and Project (Pty) Ltd, between March and June 2019 from the money that was sent “erroneously” by the provincial department.

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