MK vets air dirty laundry

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Members of the Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association have lodged fraud and theft complaints with the police’s Directorate of Priority Crimes Investigation, better known as the “Hawks” against their top leaders – including the Deputy Minister of Public Service and Administration, Ayanda Dlodlo, the Sunday Times reports.

The complaint relates to R7-million in expenses which have not been accounted for. The organisation’s members say that R2-million of this money ended up in the personal bank accounts of MKMVA leaders, including Dlodlo. The deputy minister, who is the association’s secretary-general, dismissed the complaint as a smear campaign, the paper said.

The fraud and theft complaint was opened by Edward Mokhoanatse, who is better known by his MK name, “Alex Mashinini”. He told the Sunday Times: “The evidence is there in bank statements, where there is massive looting of funds that belong to MKMVA. We want to clean up the MKMVA and deal with the plight of its members, who are being buried like paupers.”

Mashinini is a senior member of the Cadres Assembly, a group formed to help co-ordinate preparations for MKMVA’s 50th anniversary celebrations, due to take place on December 16. The Cadres Assembly was formed in Tshwane at a conference in April, which was attended by 900 delegates. The gathering resolved to conduct a legal and forensic audit of MKMVA’s books amid allegations that its leaders had embezzled funds.

An interim report by lawyers Tshabalala Vuza Tabane, assisted by auditors from Gobodo, concludes “there is strong prima facie evidence that some of the trustees have personally benefited from certain transactions”. The report, together with supporting documents – including the bank statements of MKMVA’s two commercial entities, MKMVA Investment Holdings and Mabutho Investment Holdings – are attached to Mashinini’s complaint to the Hawks.

According to the bank statements and the forensic report, Dlodlo, chairman Kebby Maphatsoe, treasurer Sparks Motseki and former treasurer Dumisani Khoza had a total of R1.976-million paid into their bank accounts. The documents show that R626 750 was deposited in Maphatsoe’s accounts, including R100 000 into his family trust account; R40 000 into Dlodlo’s account; R360 000 into Motseki’s; and R949 273 into Khoza’s. The audit found that money was also transferred to companies that the MKMVA leaders are believed to have personally owed money.

The documents described the problems auditors and Cadre Assembly leaders had trying to get financial records from MKMVA leaders. “They have refused, on a number of occasions, to exhibit share certificates confirming MKMVA shareholding in a number of entities (and) refused or deliberately omitted to submit audited financial statements,” Tshabalala Vuza Tabane attorneys wrote in a letter to the National Prosecuting Authority.

But Dlodlo hit back, saying the Cadres Assembly complaint “is not about stealing money – it’s about leadership battles”. She said she had simply been reimbursed for what she’d paid towards the costs of an MKMVA conference. “Anyway, I’m not that hard up. If I wanted to, I would steal much more than R40 000. I’ll wait for the court processes to take their course,” she said.

Maphatsoe said the charge was laid by “counter-revolutionaries (who) stoop so low to tarnish the name of the deputy minister”. He initially dismissed payments of MKMVA funds into his bank account as “lies”, saying: “I have been receiving money from my own business.” But after details of the payments had been put to him, Maphatsoe said: “You might find it is Friday, the event is tomorrow … so you would transfer this money to me and I withdraw and I pay this person.” He said he could provide proof he was simply being reimbursed for MKMVA costs he had incurred. But, more than a week later, he has yet to do so, the Sunday Times said. Maphatsoe said he would refuse to be subjected to a lifestyle audit “just because there are rumours”.

He also refused to provide the Sunday Times with audited financial statements or any of the share agreements of the MKMVA. “The treasurer-general will present a report at the end of July,” he said.

Khoza dismissed the charges as a smoke screen by an “illegal structure (out) to discredit the current leadership”. He claimed he had “loaned” MKMVA “over R800 000”, but failed to provide proof of the loan, despite initially undertaking to do so.

Treasurer Motseki did not respond to queries, despite undertaking to do so. Late on Friday Maphatsoe, said in a letter that his attorneys had been unable to find evidence of a criminal case having been opened against the MKMVA leadership.

However, the Sunday Times has seen documentary evidence that the Hawks have received a criminal complaint. Maphatsoe also said the forensic audit was “unconstitutional, unauthorised and of no legal effect”.