Purging of those who disagree with corporate capture and Guptarisation: Why I was removed. Madoda Sambatha - former MEC of Public Works and Roads, North West Province
An allegation was fabricated and conveyed to ANC national officials, alleging that there was an illegal sale of a land portion under my supervision as Public Works and Roads MEC (Member of the Executive Council) in the North West Provincial Government. I have nothing but contempt for lying and the lie. Government`s own records and official documents clearly show that the land portion in question, NO: 2007/248203/23 was sold for about R76 440 (seventy-six thousand four hundred forty) and that it was bought before I was elected as a member of the North West Provincial Legislature and appointed to MEC position. Attached is a letter from the North West Housing Corporation, Office of the Chief Financial Officer confirming that "Erf. No. 3878 Unit 12 Mmabatho purchased by TJ Mampe is fully paid" and further stating, by way of instruction: "Cancel all bonds and charge for this Erf and release the Title Deed".
A fabricated document to justify the baseless allegation
The first two pages of the document submitted by the North West Provincial Premier Supra Mahumapelo and whoever he worked with ("Supra et al.") to ANC national officials are a fabrication. Page 1 is attributed to Madoda Sambatha, while page 2 is attributed to Raymond Elisha. The document purports to have been signed in 2014. The document at the office of the lawyers responsible for conveyancing or land transfer, has both page 1 and page 2 attributed to Madoda Sambatha with a 2016 signature.
The document submitted to the ANC national officials by Supra et al. is accompanied by a letter from Municipal Manager, who happens to be a member of ANC North West provincial executive committee. Neither has my office nor have I seen such a letter.
Rezoning and the fabricated document
The portfolio/description "Local Government and Human Settlement" associated with the transfer bears my details and signature.
This is what I superficially accepted to be an error on my part, wrongfully believing that my interaction was with honest and principled leadership until I discovered that they had a fabricated document and further submitted it to ANC national officials.
Delegation of authority and attempt at incriminating my person
The Premier claims that he had not delegated authority on matters of land. In sharp contrast, the lawyers responsible for land transfers provided me with a 2015 delegation of authority document by the Premier. Nothing has ever come to my attention changing this delegation.
The letter from the Municipal Manger, which I did not see before, creates a legitimate ground that even on the rezoning document may have been tempered with the aim of incriminating me. This is very much possible taking into account that they have tempered with the documents that they have submitted to ANC national officials to fabricate a pretext for my removal.
Worse off, the rezoning was meant to save government the money that it was losing to the institutional property that was sold in 2007, long before I was elected to the North West provincial legislature and appointed to the position of MEC. Without the rezoning the property still appeared as if it was institutional and not private property as sold.
The illegal sale of Oberon land - no action taken, hypocrisy
The Oberon land was sold by the authority of an official (who was HOD for Public Works the time of the sale). The department was forced to buy back the by about R130-million which was a massive loss!
The defenders of illegal land sale should have long acted on this official, but North West "corruption fight" is by design aimed at purging those who hold a different view politically rather than dealing with real corruption. Already there are many comrades have fallen victim to this rule of the jungle and selective "justice". I am therefore not the first, and surely not the last.
The political question is how far and for how long this selective rule will reign.
Discussion with the Premier another MEC
After a discussion with the Premier and another MEC, MEC Gaolaolwe, ANC provincial office bearers decided to refer the baseless allegations against me to ANC national officials. Following this session I had a meeting with two ANC national officials. Based on the meeting I was required to submit my side of the story in terms of the universal rule of justice audi alteram partem, meaning listen to the other side. I did this on 31 May 2017. The ANC provincial offices bearers were regardless ready to remove me the same day and were therefore not interested in the outcome of my submission to the ANC national officials. I was removed on the false ground of the so-called seriousness of the allegations to which I made my submission to the ANC national officials and the outcome was pending. I told them they were unjust and unfair for prejudicially taking the decision further circumventing processes of universal justice.
Meeting with the Premier
I met with the Premier at his office (1 June 2017, 19h00) where he presented an apparent decision of the ANC provincial executive committee, giving me two options with one and the same outcome - either resign or be removed from office as a member of the provincial executive council. I refused to resign because first and foremost I was not guilty of violating the law.
Secondly, I said, they should consult the leadership of the SACP.
The discussion ended with the agreement that the Premier was to consult SACP Second Deputy General Secretary on behalf of the national officials of the Party. He added that my respond to an inquiry by the ANC was drawn out like a defence "to a case". The meeting ended without the Premier telling me that he was going to relief me of my role as MEC. I was later called as I was to leave the building and he gave me a letter that he enveloped in before me.
My reshuffling was long decided immediately after our appointment in 2014, and became very urgent from 2015 immediately after the Provincial Alliance meeting convened by Luthuli House on the eve of 2015 January 8th celebration held in our Province. The urgency was fast-tracked after an Alliance Summit addressed by ANC Secretary General and SACP disagreement with the Premier`s state of the province address he delivered in Taung about the so-called economic or employment contribution of Guptas to the mining sector especially in Matlosana, where they were praised.
The purging includes purging those who disagree with the defence of the Gupta-centred parasitic network of private wealth accumulation and, associated with it, complicity in misgovernance in the public sector to facilitate exploitation of public resources and assets. My removal will not be understood if looked at as an isolated incident. I have been pigeonholed, in my capacity as SACP North West Provincial Secretary, as a representative not only of the Party`s steadfast opposition to the decay but also of all others who are seen to be standing in its way.
Decisive as ever!
No amount of manipulation of executive prerogatives, public power, authority and resources will succeed to cow me into silence, passivity, fatalism or conformism whatsoever. If there is anything, our determination should be in the struggle with and for the working class and poor and democratic South Africans in general will become stronger, ever and ever.
Our priority is the fight against the Guptarisation and all forms of state capture and looting, factionalism and patronage, demagogy, tribalism and ethnicity, political thuggery and more so the exclusion of the Alliance from governance decisions.
My removal is nothing else but part and parcel of a factional politics involving the abuse of state power and authority. Its objective is to silence and purge any political disagreement on leadership preference for the coming December 2017 ANC national conference by all means.
My question I asked myself was whether I should stay in executive council of North West Province until I am charged from the concoction and fabrication done by some leaders or leave? I serve under or accept that when people have their prerogative they reserve the right to action that that prerogative but if it an executive prerogative or derives from public power they must not abuse it. There is no prerogative in our movement that belongs to a faction or an individual. The ANC, too, has to consult.
I must thank the honest and capacitated women and men employed in Public Works and Roads Department who under serious and severe constraints worked very hard. It befitting to work within the authority of an MEC of the time irrespective of pressures forcing them to work away from the MEC. Civil servants should stay away from political battles or factional politics. Their terrain is leading and ensuring that government delivers irrespective of who is the MEC of the time, this includes office staff, Alliance leadership, Progressive Youth Alliance and general members of society and all those who supported my work whilst I was still MEC and stood by me after the announcement of my removal.
Released by Madoda Sambatha - former MEC of Public Works and Roads, also SACP North West Provincial Secretary
Madoda Sambatha - 072 198 5433
* This is the statement issued by former North West Provincial government MEC of Public Works and Housing, current SACP Moses Kotane Provincial Secretary, 7 June 2017.