By Xolani Xala
Dear Mcebisi Jonas,
Whilst I commend you for breaking your silence I strongly believe that we should allow space for people with concerns to come forward without fear of victimisation.
I feel obliged to bring to the attention of the nation the troubling incidents involving you as a leader entrusted with public finances.
At face value your action seems a heroic deed but on lifting the curtain one gets a worrying picture about your character and moral integrity.
UyiMpisi eyombathe isikhumba seGusha.
Firstly, it is a fact that you left under a cloud of corruption as CEO of Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC). You were suspended and later resigned after being arrested by the Serious Economic Crimes Unit for fraud relating to the R9-million sale of Mpekweni Resorts. The situation was so serious that, following a forensic investigation, the Provincial Economics Minister, Andre de Wet, subsequently sacked the entire ECDC board.
Secondly, the allegations of corruption made against you and three other senior politicians, while you were MEC for Economic Development and Tourism in Eastern Cape, were fully backed up. To this end the Judge Ronnie Pillay Commission report revealed in chilling detail that you, together with your family, pocketed R200-million of public funds supposed to be utilised to aid the poor. The report said another R250-million simply disappeared from the Province’s public coffers over a decade.
But the most troubling incident has got to be your implication in the misappropriation of the Mandela funeral funds. R65-million was spent without following proper procurement procedures. In this regard, funds appeared in personal bank accounts triggering the Hawks investigation.
So, while we braved the chilling cold in the streets of London, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham and Milton Kings – standing shoulder to shoulder with friends of the Republic – the nation and the rest of the world mourned the death of our Founding Father of a free nation, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. Once again you and your allies saw an opportunity to help yourselves with funds supposed to be utilised to rest our first democratically elected President in peace.
These incidents are serious and raise questions about a decision by the executive that despite your reputation they appointed you in the Treasury to oversee the Public Investment Corporation, which handles more than R1.8-trillion in assets.
Now all of this begs important questions, one of which is what have you been up to since joining the Treasury and why are you there? In my view the offer you say was tabled by the Guptas is one of many and I am convinced that you accepted most of them. You are in the Treasury after all, despite your reputation!
One wonders how many Mcebisi Jonas’s are lurking in the ranks of the Congress and State Ministries yet to be discovered. This is just the tip of the iceberg!
Xolani Xala writes in his personal capacity