The South African Federation of Trade Unions is outraged by yet another serious allegation that former president Jacob Zuma is being investigated by the Hawks for allegedly accepting a R1m cash bribe from a Western Cape abalone dealer in exchange for keeping Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Senzeni Zokwana in his Cabinet.
What is however even more shocking in the City Press report is that in an affidavit deposed at the Lyttelton Police Station in Centurion in December, businessman Chaile Seretse further alleges that Zokwana, Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini and agriculture department deputy director-general Siphokazi Ndudane each received a R300 000 bribe from the same businessman – Deon Larry – who is also a convicted child molester.
Hawks spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi has confirmed that the Hawks are investigating the bribery claims against Zuma, Zokwana, Dlamini and Ndudane.
“These are quite serious allegations,” he said. “And the matter is being looked at by the Hawks’ serious corruption and serious economic offences units. It is still at an inquiry stage, but based on the allegations made, it looks like a docket will be opened up soon. And once the investigation is completed, we will hand over the docket to the National Prosecuting Authority [NPA] to decide what to do”.
Seretse alleges that Dlamini used his influence with, and knowledge of, Zuma and Zokwana to set up the meeting. After that, he claims that, in August 2016, Booi and Ndudane rented a car from the Dollar Thrifty rental company in Durban to drive to Nkandla to deliver the cash to Zuma.
“Sdumo Dlamini was given R300 000 for facilitating the meeting. Siphokazi was given R300 000 from the bribery money as well. Minister Zokwana also received R300 000 from the total bribery amount,” Seretse’s affidavit states.”
Zokwana is a former President of the National Union of Mineworkers and Dlamini the current President of COSATU! If these allegations are true it is an utter disgrace that workers’ leaders who were elected to represent the workers and the poor are enriching themselves, collaborating with the discredited former president and in league with a convicted criminal!
This report casts light on the appalling degeneration of the leaders of once proud and principled workers’ organisations. It helps to explain why COSATU expelled unions and dismissed leaders who put the interests of the workers before those of themselves.
If COSATU has any principles left it will immediately suspend Dlamini, open an internal disciplinary hearing and collaborate fully with the Hawks to hand over everything they know about these and any other similar activities. The NUM must also come forward with any information on Zokwana which the Hawks request.
All those who are accused must have their day in court but if found guilty must be given exemplary sentences given their high-profit roles as workers’ leaders.
This scandal provides further proof that the decision to launch SAFTU was right, necessary and urgent – to give workers a federation that would be independent and worker-controlled, and free from the corruption and looting which has spread like an epidemic into one COSATU affiliated union after another and is now seen to have reached COSATU itself!