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Ramaphoria’s greatest challenge: sentencing the corrupt – Ed Herbst

This is the future: Why facts-obsessed Frans Cronje is suddenly filled with hope for SA

JOHANNESBURG — Making an instance out of somebody is an age previous technique in ensuring everybody else is aware of what shouldn’t be achieved. It nevertheless doesn’t appear to have a spot in the ANC handbook towards corruption. On this case research, Ed Herbst, assesses how the ruling celebration has handled inner corrupt actions in the previous, highlighting just one earlier case of a conviction that result in jail time. However that there’s one other alternative on the horizon, given the upcoming judgement on ICASA chair Rubben Mohlaloga’s sentencing after a R6 million heist from the Land Financial institution in 2008. As a result of as Ramaphoria wanes, Herbst reckons one thing is required to re-energise the motion. – Stuart Lowman

Ramapanther. Extra cartoon magic out there at

By Ed Herbst*

Chairperson of the Unbiased Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) Rubben Mohlaloga is predicted to be sentenced right now in the Specialised Business Crimes Courtroom in Pretoria. He was convicted of fraud and cash laundering in January. Mohlaloga‚ together with 5 others‚ was accused of defrauding the Land Financial institution of about R6 million in 2008. Mohlaloga and his accomplices transferred cash from the Land Financial institution to an lawyer’s belief account. – Icasa Chair to be sentenced immediately SA Authorities Information Company three/four/2018

Ramaphosa is clearly an enchancment on Zuma. However the hope that greeted his rise to energy is starting to dissipate. Many are starting to lose hope. Some projections are that the ANC might fail to realize a majority subsequent yr even with Ramaphosa as chief. It appears we’re again to sq. one. – Barney Mthombothi Sunday Occasions 1/7/2018

All the indications are that Ramaphoria is waning so what could be completed to rekindle and re-energise that enthusiasm?

And enthusiasm is desperately wanted as a result of, even on the job-creation entrance, Ramaphosa appears to be experiencing disturbing opposition.

Veteran journalist Ed Herbst

The spark it wants is the jailing of a corrupt high-profile ANC deployed cadre to buttress the rivalry at Davos by him that he intends to fight the pervasive corruption inside his social gathering and that his opposition to the remaining Zuptoids is resolute.

In a earlier article on Biznews I analysed the distinction between the approach through which the Nationwide Get together ostracised its convicted criminals and the means through which the ANC does every thing in its energy to guard them.

I additionally identified how the solely ANC politician since 1994 to be swiftly investigated, tried and jailed leading to the confiscation of belongings was Cynthia Maropeng. The one cause that occurred was as a result of she stole not from the fiscus, however from her social gathering – constituency funds – and the ANC wanted to ship a fast and clear message to its deployed cadres that that was not on.

At the finish of August, Rubben Mohlaloga is scheduled to be sentenced – 4 and a half years after he was arrested – one thing that may presage one other protracted ‘Stalingrad’ authorized battle fought together with your cash and mine. It bears evaluation as a result of it’s a basic case research of how and why the nation has been lowered to junk standing.

On three April the South African Authorities Information Company issued a press launch breathlessly saying that on that very day, Rubben Mohlaloga the ICASA chair and a former ANC MP, was going to be sentenced after being discovered responsible of fraud and cash laundering referring to a R6 million Land Financial institution rip-off.

That by no means occurred and now the listening to has been postponed till the finish of August.

A bit of background.

qnInsignia of the African Nationwide Congress (ANC)

Rubben Mohlaloga minimize his tooth in ANC politics in Limpopo.

He was ANC Youth League deputy president from 2001 – 2004 underneath Malusi Gigaba and from 2004 underneath Fikile Mbalula till 2005 when he was expelled from the ANCYL.

When it comes to the ANC’s due diligence coverage this certified him for a seat in parliament two years later and by 2008 he was chairman of the Agriculture & Land Affairs Portfolio Committee.

Ironic assertion

It was on this capability that he made the following considerably ironic assertion throughout a speech in parliament.

‘The Land Financial institution is certainly one of our key improvement finance establishments, whose major mandate is to advertise, facilitate and help rising and subsistence farmers.

‘We have been concerned about the issues around the Land Bank which impaired the image and repute of the Bank.’

Ironic as a result of he was later convicted of defrauding the Land Financial institution to purchase, amongst different issues, two BMWs.

July 2010 – Rubben Mohlaloga joins the Division of Communications as the Basic Supervisor for Coverage Improvement.

2 December 2012 – Mohlaloga is arrested for Land Financial institution fraud and launched on bail of R20,000. He’s made chief director at the Division of Communications however doesn’t inform his bosses about the arrest. It’s alleged that of the complete of the R100 million in the Land Financial institution’s AgriBEE account, R34.5 million was siphoned off on this rip-off. The AgriBEE fund was aimed toward aiding aspirant and primarily black farmers with low curiosity loans to purchase farms.

R800,000 was allegedly used to purchase two BMWs for Mohlaloga however cash was additionally spent to purchase a farm, and R60,000 was allegedly additionally spent on timeshare.

Worth WaterHouse Cooper was employed by the Land Financial institution to do the forensic audit.

As soon as once more this stellar snouting achievement ticks all the ANC’s due diligence bins and he’s proposed – thereafter – as a member of the ICASA board.

The unspeakable Dina Pule – then Communications Minister and a Snouter of Notice herself – ratified this appointment regardless of the protests of the then DA Shadow Minister of Communications, Marian Shinn.

Pule gave notification of her determination in the Authorities Gazette issued on three July 2013 (no.36632), indicating that Mohlaloga would take up the place from 1 July 2013, for a interval of 4 years.

Regardless of his pending trial for fraud, the ANC promoted Mohlaloga to the place of chairman of ICASA in December final yr.

Duly convicted

Solely weeks later, on 18 January this yr, the Hawks issued the following press assertion saying that Mohlaloga and his fellow thieves had been duly convicted:

Following a protracted felony matter the Pretoria Specialised Business Crime Courtroom has convicted 4 accused on Monday, January 15. The suspects, Philemon Radichaba Mohlahlane (62), Manyaba Rubben Mohlaloga (44) Dinga Rammy Nkhwashu (40) and Dingamanzi Ka Dinga (Inc.) representing Masepula Dinga Attorneys agency have been discovered responsible of defrauding the Land Financial institution of roughly R6million rand in 2008.

Throughout January 2008, in Polokwane the accused, with the assist of the influential Mohlahlane, who was the Land Financial institution Chief Government Officer (CEO) at the time conspired and transferred R6 Million right into a belief account of Masepule Dinga attorneys.

The funds have been transferred from Broad-Based mostly Black Financial Empowerment framework for Agriculture, Generally generally known as (Agri-Bee). This was carried out with out following due processes as Mohlahlane subverted the procedures and instructed the fund supervisor at Agri-Bee to authorise the stated cost with out supporting paperwork.

The fund supervisor who ultimately turned state witness throughout the trial solely acquired an software for the grant a few month after the cost was made. The stated software was in relation with funding to accumulate land, livestock and processing models.

After the R6 Million was acquired in the belief account of Masepule Dinga attorneys, the funds have been distributed between the suspects and a farm was purchased for R2m in addition to an X5 BMW and a BMW 118i for Mohlaloga, who was a member of Parliament and the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee of Agriculture at the time. R2, 2m was transferred to the enterprise accounts of Masepule Dinga attorneys and used for private advantage of Nkhwashu.

Opposite to what the software said, the cash was by no means used for the advantage of farm staff and/or upcoming farmers, however fairly for the accused’s private profit. The group was arrested by the Hawks’ Critical Corruption Crime Unit in October 2012 after a case was opened at Brooklyn police station culminating in relentless investigations thereafter.

The accused have been discovered responsible of fraud and cash laundering in contravention of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act, which amongst different issues prohibits illegal acquisition, possession or use of proceeds of crime.

Deliberations of mitigating elements are anticipated to be heard in March eight, and sentencing in April three, 2018.

The Appearing Nationwide Head of the Directorate for Precedence Crime Investigation, Lieutenant Basic, Yolisa Matakata, has welcomed this landmark conviction and she or he has additionally prolonged her appreciation to the investigating group and the justice system for a job nicely carried out.

It was clearly this press launch which prompted the South African Authorities Information Company to challenge a follow-up press launch on three April saying that the accused have been due for sentencing that day.

We at the moment are informed by Phindi Mjonondwane, the NPA’S Gauteng spokesperson that sentencing proceedings will begin on August 28. This will probably be the subsequent step in a grinding ‘Stalingrad’ courtroom battle fought together with your cash and mine. In the meantime the paid vacation of Rubben Mohlaloga continues because it does all through the civil service all the time and all the time at the expense of the taxpayer.

Low-hanging fruit

Look, the ANC after its profitable Arms Deal rip-off to fund its election campaigns – ask Andrew Feinstein, he’ll inform you – was wanting round for extra speculating alternatives and the Land Financial institution was clearly seen by Loot-freely Home as low-hanging fruit.

The raid by Mohlaloga and his fellow thieves on the Land Financial institution was the second such legal enterprise.

For extra info on the first, learn Banking on Change by Helena Dolny (Viking/ Allen Lane, 2001), pages 172 – 175 in R W Johnson’s South Africa’s Courageous New World – The Beloved Nation since the Finish of Apartheid (Allen Lane, 2009) and pages 155-156 in Rhoda Kadalie’s ebook In Your Face – Passionate Conversations about Individuals and Politics (Tafelberg, 2009).

Kadalie made the level that the first multi-million rand Land Financial institution tranche  after Helena Dolny was pushed out went to Pamodzi Funding Holdings which had Manne Dipico and Kgalema Motlanthe amongst its shareholders.

As I completed writing this text about Rubben Mohlaloga, the information broke that Jacob Zuma had suppressed, for greater than a yr, an SIU report about corruption involving R1.2 billion, at the coronary heart of which was the present ANC chief whip in the Gauteng legislature and former Well being MEC, Brian Hlongwa. The one cause we find out about it’s because the ANC was compelled to launch the SIU report following a Promotion of Entry to Info request by Corruption Watch and Part 27.

Newly elected president of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa.President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa.

Ramaphoria is fading quick and the clear try by the ANC to cowl up the Brian Hlongwa R1.2 billion corruption scandal and its makes an attempt to maintain Rubben Mohlaloga out of jail and on the state payroll, present a telling instance of why that’s occurring.

Don’t maintain your breath – John Block was arrested for fraud in 2010, sentenced to 15 years in the slammer in 2016 and, with the fervent help of the ANC, continues to be a free man.

Can Cyril Ramaphosa change that mindset and that de facto ANC coverage?

  • Ed Herbst is a retired veteran journalist who writes in his personal capability. 
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