GOOD CALLS ON MEC FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT TO ACT ON CITY OF CAPE TOWN “HUMANITARIAN” FUNDS

STATEMENT BY BRETT HERRON, GOOD SECRETARY-GENERAL AND MEMBER OF THE WESTERN CAPE PROVINCIAL PARLIAMENT

3 May 2021

I wrote publicly to the Executive Mayor of Cape Town, Dan Plato, last week, to request him to take citizens into his confidence regarding a Hawks investigation into the alleged misappropriation and laundering of city humanitarian funds, involving a church in Table View.

A case has been registered, a senior DA member in Atlantis arrested – and more arrests are anticipated.

I asked Plato to confirm whether funds allocated to humanitarian food relief were in fact paid to an organisation in Atlantis and then immediately, and unlawfully, transferred to the church, minus a fee – and to share what the City was doing to urgently halt the practise.

The transfer of the funds to the church, which was not lawfully entitled to receive public funds, was picked up in the course of an investigation into TERS fraud. 

DA councillors are said to have been involved in identifying the church as the end-recipient of the funds, and City officials were in on the plan. The identities of all the alleged conspirators are known to GOOD.

What is not known at this stage is whether the money was to be used to advance the prospects of a particular DA candidate in an internal battle for position, or to benefit the party more generally. Local government elections are to be held in October.

Both the DA, where it governs, and the ANC, have for many years been accused of manipulating food relief as a means to secure votes. 

Just last month, the City of Cape Town was said to be investigating a remarkable statement by DA sub-council chairperson Angus Mckenzie that, “food parcels win votes in small towns like Zoar”. A recording of McKenzie’s remarks was circulated on social media.

Last Friday, in response to my letter requesting the Mayor to share the details of the Atlantis/Table View funds, the City swiftly issued a blanket denial. The denial bore no resemblance to the truth.

I have therefore written to MEC Anton Bredell, providing the details, and requested him to conduct an investigation in terms of Sec 106 of the Municipal Systems Act.

In terms of this section the MEC for Local Government is duty-bound to investigate maladministration, fraud, corruption or serious malpractice in a municipality when he has reason to believe it is occurring.

Ends…