WE at UnCensored pledge our solidarity with the 26 members of Black First Land First (BLF) who appeared in court at the Kgosi Mampuru Prison yesterday.
Their crime was to demand that Public Protector Thuli Madonsela release the findings of a report into R26 billion which was allegedly stolen by several companies including banks during the final years of apartheid. The details are contained in a report called the CIEX report compiled by a UK retired intelligence officer who named ABSA, Nedbank, Sanlam, Remgro and Aerospatiale/ Daimler Chrysler as some of the beneficiaries of this plunder.
As reported in UnCensored a fortnight ago, many had thought Madonsela was probing apartheid looting, R600 billion of which could be recovered according to CIEX and others who’ve been investigating apartheid economic plunder. However, Madonsela’s office clarified that it is investigating former presidents Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki’s conduct in relation to only a portion of the CIEX report.
“The Public Protector’s investigation looks into the propriety or otherwise of the alleged failure by the democratic government, not the apartheid regime, between 1998 and 2003, to implement advise from a retired UK intelligence officer regarding the recovery of an alleged R3.2 billion loan allegedly given to Bankorp by the SARB during apartheid,” her office said at the time.
The Ciex report detailed the billions of public money that had been misappropriated by the apartheid government and outlined ways of recovering some of the funds. Ciex detailed the extent of the corruption in the banking and financial systems during the apartheid era.
“Corruption was damagingly presented as a growing & uniquely black problem: but under white rule it had been institutionalised.”
It said the economy remained in white control but more specifically, in the hands of the Broederbond.
The report detailed how the government looted state coffers ahead of the democratic dispensation through various means including corrupt banking and financial systems, illegal lifeboats and subventions by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB).
The first phase of the project was to recover approximately R15 billion; R3.2 billion from ABSA, R3 – 6 billion from Sanlam and Rembrandt now Remgro, and about R5.5 billion from Aerosptiale/Daimler-Chrysler.
The report exposed an “illegal gift” of R3.2 billion to Bankorp which was later bought by ABSA and “dressed up as a lifeboat organised by then Reserve Bank Governor Chris Stals in concert with Marinus Daling, ABSA’s CEO Danie Cronje and Anton and Johann Rupert”, it read.
Where are Thuli’s findings into R3.2 billion which could be recovered from the banks?
In a Twitter response in July, the public protector said the report would be out by the end of that month. This has not happened.
The public protector had on several occasions prior to that also promised to release the report. And this has not happened. With a month left to her tenure can we expect the report from this public protector?
The question is why there is a reluctance to probe this grand scale of corruption – prosecute the perpetrators and return the money to the public coffers to be used on free education and healthcare, housing and all the other social problems facing this country.
We look forward to the new public protector with the hope that she will not only expose the thieves but return the money to the rightful owners – the public.