2007-04-04 : Letter : Anti-crime drive not obvious at all

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2007-04-04 : Letter : Anti-crime drive not obvious at all

Postby GOSA » Wed, 2007-04-11 08:03

An edited version of Finance Minister Trevor Manuel's speech to the National Prosecuting Authority conference was published in Business Report on March 29.

The minister is quoted as saying that the "government is committed to bringing crime rates down.

This should be obvious to everyone, but for reasons I cannot begin to fathom, some people doubt this."

It is not at all obvious to me. There are many reasons for this.

Some of these go back a number of years, and display a pattern that the government may be committed to addressing the crime rate - but only when ANC cadres are not inconvenienced.

Let me describe just a few of them, and perhaps the minister will reply.

These go into detail, but it is said the devil is in the detail.

In the mid-1990s, a senior ANC cadre in the Free State was chairperson of the provincial portfolio committee on housing.

This cadre saw no potential conflict of interest between this position and his ownership of a building company.

Obviously, neither did anyone else in the ANC, as the situation was allowed to continue.

In due course, this company built houses in Calabria, a suburb of Virginia.

The houses immediately started to crack up and fall apart, and because of the shoddy construction, considerable damage was done during a high wind.

The Special Investigations Unit, then known as the Heath Unit, investigated and, having established a prima facie case of corruption, submitted an application to then President Nelson Mandela for a proclamation to take the matter further.

Since the Act had been carefully crafted to protect ANC cadres, and since this was a provincial matter, the request was referred to the Free State premier. No more was heard of it.

This man at present holds some sort of nebulous position in the Free State premier's office (having defected from the other ANC faction in the Free State).

A large number of ANC parliamentarians, over a long period of time, systematically committed fraud by not only abusing parliament's travel voucher scheme, but also by submitting false mileage claims for their privately owned vehicles.

Some of those who have entered plea bargains have been re-warded with positions in provincial and local structures.

And the Assets Forfeiture Unit, led by an ANC cadre and former member of parliament, has made no attempt to seize the private vehicles used in the fraud.

Another ANC cadre, Tony Yengeni, is not only a convicted criminal but also someone who lied, lied and lied again.

Yet he was cheered into prison by very senior members of the ANC.

I could quote many other cases where the ANC government has not just turned a blind eye to crime but has actually rewarded those guilty of crimes.

So no, minister, it is not "obvious" to me that the government is committed to combating crime, and perhaps you can now "begin to fathom" why this is so.

I am not an unreasonable person; nor am I stupid.

I resent the implication that I cannot see what is "obvious".

But let me end with a higher-level observation, and with a direct question to the minister.

Your boss was a student in the UK in his earlier years, and will surely be able to answer this question, if you choose to ask him.

If the London Metropolitan Police commissioner admitted to being a friend of one of the Kray brothers, or to having had cosy lunches with one of the members of the Richardson gang, how long would he have remained in office?

R Elder
Riebeeckstad,
Welkom

Published on the web by Star on April 4, 2007.
What have YOU done for YOUR rights today?
GOSA
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