There’s a joke doing the rounds: Pensioners have Sassa cards, politicians have Bosasa cards.
Funny, ne? But not for long.
The explosive revelations that have come out at the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture actually makes for shocking and sad reading.
If you’ve been onder die klip for the past couple of weeks, basically you’ve missed out on bosses from the facilities management and security services company, explaining how they bankrolled ministers and state department heads, in order to secure lucrative government tenders.
What we’ve heard so far is that in the past 10 years, Bosasa managed to get R1.37 billion worth of contracts from the Department of Home Affairs, R535m from Justice and Correctional Service, and R900m from the Airports Company of South Africa.
The other departments are yet to declare what dealings they’ve had with the controversial company.
And in return for these R2.8b worth of contracts, according to testimony by former Bosasa bosses Angelo Agrizzi and Frans Vorster, government officials were lekker uitgesort.
Some of the kickbacks alleged are:
Monthly payments of R50 000 for Environmental Affairs minister Nomvula Mokonyane; as well as Christmas groceries hampers consisting of 120 cases of cold drinks, four cases of high-quality whiskey, 40 cases of beer, eight lambs, 12 cases of frozen chicken pieces and 200kg of beef every year.
Former South African Airways board chairperson Dudu Myeni used to deliver bags containing R300k of Bosasa cash to ex-president Jacob Zuma every month;
Correctional Services would get up to R750k every month; Houses were built and furnished for prisons bosses Linda Mti and Patrick Gillingham; Gillingham got two Mercedes-Benzes and his wife and son and daughter a VW Golf and two Polos; Mti got a silver VW Touareg V8; Nearly R2m on ANC election campaigns.
Even President Cyril Ramaphosa’s son Andile has been linked to Bosasa.
Wow! Suddenly the Guptas are a distant memory and the new public enemy No.1 is Bosasa big boss Gavin Watson.
Ramaphosa tried to put a positive spin on the revelations, saying it was “cathartic” for South Africa and an opportunity for the ANC government to “self-correct” ahead of this year’s elections.
Look, all the DA had to do was sit back, munch popcorn and say “tsk, tsk” at each jaw-dropping revelation.
After all, South Africans are all gatvol of corruption and the opposition party has long touted itself as a vanguard of clean governance.
But not Helen Zille.
No, our premier had to sit die pot mis completely and cause turmoil in her party’s ranks.
Refusing to lay off Twitter, she posted: “I’m waiting to see how many people get prosecuted and land in jail in a reasonable amount of time after the Zondo Commission. If they do not, just watch me. I will be organising the #TaxRevolt. I have tried the electoral route for years. Voters seem to like voting for corruption.”
She also said the 2019 elections was the last chance the voters have to vote against corruption.
“And it is clear a vote for the ANC (even under Cyril) is a vote for corruption. If the voters fail the democracy test again, it’s time for additional methods. #TaxRevolt.”
Now, one can understand why Zille is gatvol.
For the last 10 years she’s been trying to get the ANC out of power. She’s tried everything and her time has run out.
This is her last chance and she’s desperate.
Really, a tax revolt?
How is that going to win the DA the election, or clean up corruption in government?
Apart from being illegal not to pay tax, how would this work?
Tell your employees not to deduct pay-as-you-earn?
Do you ask your local supermarket to give you a 15% discount because you don’t smaak to pay VAT?
And what about the savings consumers will make on sin taxes (dop and entjies) and on fuel?
And why stop there? Let’s boycott over-priced water in the Cape. And let’s not pay for electricity.
Madness. DA leader Mmusi Maimane had no choice but to pull rank and say “Hokaai! This is not DA party policy, you’re on your own Aunty Helen.”
The rift has caused major tension in the party leadership.
Somehow Zille managed to turn a Bosasa bonanza into a major setback for her own party.