By Pinky Khoabane
DA Marchers: Mmusi Maimane & Black Members
Dear Mmusi Maimaine and Phumzile Van Damme
It with much excitement that I heard you would be taking your “State Capture” march to the South African Airways (SAA) this coming Tuesday.
Excited because for starters, your protection of white privilege and supremacy has forced you to turn a blind eye to grave corruption by white-owned companies. Two forensic audit reports into SAA reveal that white-owned companies are the beneficiaries of massive institutionalised corruption. The details are below.
Your silence in the face of runaway corruption exposed by the Competition Commission is deafening. We’ve had corrupt companies looting the government and citizens, among them the poorest of the poor, in price fixing and collusion, running into billions of rands. The Democratic Alliance has been quiet. You Mmusi Maimane have been dead silent.
These cartels have spared no one in their theft. They have cheated citizens on the price of bread, basic food stuffs, glass, scrap metal, furniture removals, and 2010 World Cup stadiums, to name but a few. The Commission identified 300 collusion cases in construction and engineering projects worth R47 billion between 2000 and 2010. However, it limited its investigations to 160 projects between early 2006 to late 2009, fining 15 construction and engineering firms a total of R1.46 billion. The banks have also been found guilty of this corruption which is sanitised and called collusion.
In your defence, you may want to tell us, as those who defend white privilege and theft often do, that these monies are not from the public purse. This is not only a poor excuse but it is also false and exposes your double standards. As the work of the Competition Commission has shown, this corruption involved government tenders too as was the case in the stadiums and furniture removals and others. Stuttaford Van Lines is facing almost 650 counts of colluding in government tenders – the largest number of counts of corruption in an industry that the Commission has ever recorded. Are you going to march against these organisations? I reckon not. Conveniently, the definition of state capture does not extend to the billions of Rands stolen from government and State Owned Entities (SOEs) by white cartels.
My second reason for being excited is that your march just so happens to be in the area where DA Councillor Simon Lapping leads. Ward 17 in Ekurhuleni to be precise. In case you haven’t read my email of questions to be answered around this councillor, let me brief you. He’s the one who in an affidavit whose authenticity he confirms, tells of being paid money by FNB’s now CEO Jacques Celliers, “to go away”. The amounts are R3,500 to close his credit card and overdraft facility, R7,000 for bond costs and R155,000 for a home loan for which he didn’t qualify. He didn’t even work when he was given this loan into which an amount of R155,000 was mysteriously deposited. Damning among the emails he attaches is one from FNB’s legal representative, Dawn Smith, who threatens him with reinstatement of the loan amount if he tells anyone about this deal. The email effectively silences your man Lapping about his knowledge of what he calls “unconstitutional” conduct by the bank in effecting unauthorised debit orders. This is not just corruption of the highest level but it is an unlawful conduct which is criminal in nature. Will you lay charges against FNB and set in motion disciplinary measures against your man, Lapping? I’m almost definite you shall do no such; firstly because a big bank, FNB at that – with links to Johann Rupert, is involved, but secondly, because you cant charge Lapping for anything without bringing in FNB into the matter. The two of you wouldn’t dream of risking your careers.
Your protest at SAA would, if it was a genuine attempt at exposing corruption, signify a shift from protecting theft by white companies to exposing them.
Two forensic reports into SAA show runaway looting in that institution. Firstly, not that you would care for this information, of the R24bn annual procurement budget at SAA, only 1.7% goes to Black-owned companies. Don’t bother to check this information, Soros’ funded AfricaCheck already did.
Reports by Ernst & Young and Open Water Advanced Risk Solutions reveal damning information into SAA. The E&Y report said 60% of the contracts sampled, the largest and highest in value – have not been attained through proper procurement channels. In ordinary speak this is corruption. If only 1.7% of procurement goes to Black companies, it stands to reason that the bulk of the fraud that takes place and is indeed the cause of the rampant losses at SAA as identified by the E&Y report, is done by the white-owned companies. The number of companies, such as Bidvest, which supplies just about everything from laundry to cleaning services on the planes and on the ground, have gone on for years and some operate on monthly MOUs. These are the evergreen contracts which you conveniently never speak of.
The forensic reports are extensive and I therefore give you a summary below. Hopefully your colleague MP Alf Lees, apart from spying on what flights or where Chairperson Dudu Myeni is spending her weekends, has also placed contents of these reports before your party.
The forensic reports found that:
- In procuring goods, SAA & subsidiaries did not always test the market to obtain the best deal amongst suppliers
- The tender process is prolonged resulting in financial losses. In some instances the tender process took more than 24 months (2 years) from closing date to the award date during which time third party contracts were awarded at higher rates
- Tender processes were not always followed
- Management of documents was of grave concern. Invoices couldn’t be verified and validity and correctness was always a problem
An audit into South African Airways Technical shows that:
- none of the tenders were advertised in the Government Tender Bulletin as per Treasury Regulations
- Bidders didn’t abide by the closing date
- Members of the procurement division continually communicated with bidders after closing date
- Bidders were allowed to amend prices after bids closed
A Mr Leon Robbertse is cited in the forensic audit report as having manipulated pricing which favoured specific bidders. He’s said to have misled the board by omitting some prices submitted by Air France and misrepresenting the price submitted to the board by R85.6m. It is no surprise to discover that its contract was extended for over 3 years.
SAAT relies on one person to evaluate tenders – Robbertse.
- Companies whose contracts have long lapsed and are extended and act on a Month to Month Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). These figures are as at 31 August 2015
- Vuzzini Motors. Contract lapsed in August 2012. Extended thereafter to June 2015
- First Garment. Laundry & Lease of uniforms. Contract ended March 2013 & extended to June 2015 on a month-to-month basis. Contract spend R45,304,385.
- BP. Fuel. Contract ended 2015. constant short-term extensions. Contract amount R1.5bn.
- Shell. Fuel. Contract ended 2015. Contract extension 6 months. Contract amount R612m.
- Bidvest. Aircraft interior cleaning. Month to Month. Contract amount R260m.
- Swissport. Ground handling. 2009 – 2014. Contract amount. R847m. Month to Month.
- First Catering. OnBoard catering. 2007 – 2013. Month to Month. Contract spend R62.450m.
- Wings. On Board catering. Evergreen. Ongoing. Contract spend R11,985m
- KWE. Logistics. Contract started in January 2001 and its ongoing. Contract spend R393,120,041, R545,206,513 & R264,941,102
- Air France contract was continuously extended for more than three years – from May 2013 to July 2016
2. Air France Contract for the component repair and pool support
SAAT is a Maintenance Repair Organisation which is contractually obliged to maintain SAA’s aircrafts and that of other airlines like Comair, Rwanda and Air Namibia. The forensic audit says SAAT doesn’t have sufficient spares and had to get into an agreement with another organisation to fulfil this mandate.
The details of how Air France and later the US Aviation AAR Corporation/JM Aviation got this deal read like a mafia story but it wasn’t the first. SAAT had extended a contract for tyres for over 15 years.
- bidders did not comply with timelines and closing date was extended for 25 days
- bidders submitted incomplete bids
- tender process continued for more than a year
- Robbertse omitted Air France pricing figures and misrepresented the pricing by R85.46m
- After the Bid evaluation, rigged as it was, the tender was awarded to Air France for Airbus Fleet, and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) for the Boeing fleet. Despite the decision to award the tender jointly, the Decision Record was amended in pen to reflect the successful Boeing fleet to be Air France
- The tender was reopened and this time around, Lufthansa scored the highest score but the SAAT procurement department recommended Air France
- Robbertse had prepared three submissions which showed Lufthansa to have been the successful bidder but Robertse reflected Air France as the successful bidder
- On 6 May 2016, the Board by means of a Round Robin Decision resolved to award the Component Support Services on both the Airbus and Boeing Fleets to Air France
- Three days later at a special board meeting of 9 May 2016 the Board decided to overturn the decision and award the contract to US aviation company AAR Company in a joint venture with JM Aviation, which was hurriedly registered in 2015.
- The decision to award AAR followed a visit to AAR in the US by some senior SAAT executives
- According to the contract with AAR/JM, SAAT had to pay an advanced deposit contrary to Treasury Regulations
This is information that you should both know and if you dont, have conveniently ignored because it doesn’t suit your sinister agenda.
Please surprise us Mmusi and Phumzile and have one or two placards that mention these issues. Surely that’s not asking too much.
And while there, please go via your man Lapping’s hood and remind him that yours is a party that doesn’t tolerate corruption.