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ROAD TO ELECTIONS 2024 REFLECTION

Guptas’ R280m dairy heist victims get R1,300 gift card and 5kg meat hamper

Guptas’ R280m dairy heist victims get R1,300 gift card and 5kg meat hamper
Illustrative image | sources: Former Free State Premier Ace Magashule. (Photo: Gallo Images / Netwerk24 / Felix Dlangamandla) / Former MEC for Agriculture in the Free State Mosebenzi Joseph Zwane. (Photo: Gallo Images / Business Day / Trevor Samson) / Atul Gupta. (Photo: Gallo Images / Business Day / Martin Rhodes) | Cattle at the Estina dairy farm project. (Photo: Gallo Images / Rapport / Deon Raath)

The eastern Free State is still Ace Magashule’s empire of destruction. 

I’m on a trip to the original sin site of State Capture: the Estina Dairy Farm now called the Integrated Vrede Dairy Project. Here, black Free State farmers were bilked out of hundreds of millions of rands in the first incursion by the Gupta family into South Africa.

The Commission of Inquiry into State Capture confirmed that money meant for the project was laundered out of the province to pay for the 2013 Sun City Bollywood wedding of the Gupta daughter, Vega Gupta, to Aakash Jahaggarhia.

Vrede. A decade on, in the Eastern Free State, the town called ‘peace’ in Afrikaans is broken and nearly dead. It symbolises how the country has struggled to recover from the lost decade of grand corruption.

Vrede Dairy

Cars struggle over huge potholes. Local businesses club together to tar roads as best they can. (Photo: Ferial Haffajee)

Like so many other towns in the beautiful mielie gold province, it’s also testimony to former ANC strongman and provincial premier Ace Magashule’s reign of extraction. Magashule hired the Gupta money-man Ashok Narayan as an advisor in the Premier’s Office, and a long line of bureaucrats facilitated the theft of at least R280-million from the province’s agriculture budget and its redirection to the wedding planners and as the initial deposits for the mega-state capture project.

Ace Magashule

Ace Magashule. (Photo: Gallo Images / Sowetan / Mduduzi Ndzingi)

Ten years later, as we drive through Bethlehem, Memel, and Warden off good national roads into rutted provincial routes and finally onto broken municipal roads in what were once thriving farming towns, the poem Ozymandias comes to mind, its words resonant.

Shelley wrote of corrupted legacies, and how a monument to a tyrant lay lost in the desert, its decaying inscription read: “Look on my works, ye Mighty and despair”.  Shelley ends: “No thing beside remains. Round the decay of that Colossal Wreck, boundless and bare, (t)he lone and level sands stretch far away”.

Vrede dairy

Roads in the Eastern Free State are in terrible condition. This is near the Vrede dairy project. (Photo: Ferial Haffajee)

The Free State is not desert, of course. It is rich mealie land, golden fields as far as the eye can see and beautiful in the ways that the central parts of our country show up. There is some gas exploration, tourism and gold mining, now reaching the end of its life. Magashule and the ANC had much to build on when apartheid ended, but the towns are now monuments to what happens when the shadow of State Capture replaces the provincial constitutional state.

Decay is visceral on the roads, making one see what happens when governments go wrong. I’ve learnt that you can feel corruption when visiting Eskom, Transnet, and other sites of capture. There is a lethargy of people and place when an institution is repurposed for taking from rather than giving in service to the country. So, it is in the Free State.

Shops are shuttered, and the economy is informalised. Hawkers’ stalls, a Boxer store, and informal hairdressing salons service people. Cash loan businesses thrive, the money secured by Sassa grant cards, show how the grants economy keeps many rural towns limping along. The tractor seller is the most prosperous business.

Roads in the Eastern Free in poor condition. (Photo: Ferial Haffajee)

It was supposed to be different after 30 years of cross-funding of provinces by the National Treasury, which runs an economy still classified as middle-income, which means quite wealthy. With relatively high taxes for a developing country, this cross-subsidisation should have meant that the Free State government would have done much more to maintain the economy and improve employment and opportunity. The gap between the funding and the reality on the ground is corruption.

Thembalihle, the dirt-poor township of Vrede, remains a stubborn apartheid spatial distance from the centre when good governance could have mediated the gap.  The auditor general’s numbers tell the story. The development gaps are yawning and getting wider. Instead of rising prosperity, there is increasing poverty.

When I completed my book Days of Zondo—The Fight for Freedom from Corruption, I searched for light at the end of our dark tunnel. And found it, I thought.

“In January 2022, (Ephraim Makhosini) Dhlamini and the other beneficiaries were finally given what was rightly theirs when the Free State handed over the Vrede Dairy Project to them, in one of the small victories against State Capture,” I reported.

In April 2024, I’m in Vrede to see what happens when State Capture is caught, bound and reportedly ended. The Vrede Integrated Dairy Project’s grand brick entrance is familiar. This is because journalists beat a hot trail there to hear the stories of Dhlamini and other farmers. They were told by then Agriculture MEC Mosebenzi Zwane (who would later become the Gupta point man as Mines Minister) to sell their cattle. “The locals were taken for a ride,” the State Capture Commission report found. “They were duped Nonqawuse-style, and persuaded to sell their cattle on the basis that the government would donate dairy cows to them…”. The local farmers didn’t get the cows and were only ever the on-paper owners of Estina.

Vrede Dairy Project

A contracted farmer is now running the Vrede Dairy Project on behalf of 61 beneficiaries. (Photo: Ferial Haffajee)

The beneficiaries are still fighting for what’s theirs; they remain only the on-paper owners of the Phumelela Integrated Farming Trust, the name of the new project. It received R18.9-million from the provincial government and generated R5.6-million in 2023. This is an alarming return on a public investment now well north of R280-million. In 2023, the 61 beneficiary farmers received a gift card of R1,300 and a 5kg meat parcel from the slaughter of two cattle, according to answers in the provincial legislature earlier in 2024.

Terence Maela, who manages the farm on behalf of the trust, said he had inherited a limping operation with animals in poor health.

The operation of 202 cows started producing 1,000 litres of milk a day and is up to 4,000 litres now. “There are black farmers who can do things. I trust myself. We have arrived,” Maela told EWN in this interview.

Maela is trying his best, and Premier Mxolisi Dukwana has also attempted to close the corruption taps. He blew the whistle on Magashule and gave necessary evidence before the State Capture Commission.

This is one of the cows slowly being returned to good health. (Photo: Ferial Haffajee)

Read more in Daily Maverick: Criminal syndicates operated in the Free State, fleeced the State and collapsed services – ANC political report

A dairy farmer who did not want to be named and who works with emerging farms of a similar size says the Vrede farm is underproducing. Dairy farming has moved to the Eastern seaboard, he says, and feed-lot farming is more expensive. Dairy farming in Vrede is like pitting a Lesotho pony against a racehorse. We visited the farm on the Easter weekend, when the entire country goes on holiday, and it was empty but for the cows and a single foreman. The expensive machinery was quiet.

Estina dairy

Dairy farming equipment at what used to be called the Estina dairy farm. The Guptas inflated costs and siphoned off monies meant for local black farmers. (Photo: Ferial Haffajee)

“A dairy farm doesn’t shut down and go to sleep. It has to be fully staffed every day. It’s like being a nurse or a police officer. You’re always on,” says the dairy farmer, which suggests it is not being optimally run.

The Guptas, who despatched unqualified underlings to run Estina, caused ruin and devastation. They knew nothing about dairy farming. Maela knows a lot, but more is needed to even consider paying the beneficiaries the dividends they say are their due.

AmaBhungane reported over the years that animals have died, and money has been siphoned into the Free State tender machine. The animals look healthier now, but the farm is still a cost centre rather than a profit centre to improve the lives of the first known victims of the state capture years.

Read more in Daily Maverick: More shocking animal abuse horrors at Gupta-linked Vrede dairy farm

“Almost every town is like this. There are no opportunities, and young people are not working. These are grant-based economies. Of 2.9 million people, one million are on social grants,” says the province’s DA Free State leader, Roy Jankielsohn. Like many rural towns, maintenance in Vrede is done by local work crews supported by local businesses. “They are proud of their towns,” he says.

Jankielsohn has calculated the cost of the dairy project at R7.3-million per beneficiary. Even if government had given each person a fraction of that amount, it would be much more than a gift card and a meat hamper to make up for their lost cattle.

When you go through the auditor-general reports for the Free State municipalities, wasteful expenditure runs to the billions of rands each year. Budgets of this size, if wisely used, should have catalytic growth effects on provincial economies.

Ace Magashule’s posters festoon poles across the province as he contests the elections under the banner of his start-up, the African Congress for Transformation. In his stump punt, Magashule’s legacy in the Free State is of a thriving place which still needs him.

The story of the Free State’s towns tells a different tale. The State Capture Commission recommended investigations with a view to prosecution for Magashule, the Ozymandias of the province. He is about as far from jail as Mars is from the moon as the National Prosecuting Authority has struggled to mount effective prosecutions in the Free State. DM

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  • jcdville stormers says:

    Ace is n luis

  • James Baxter says:

    I am thankful for people like you who still look after our democracy. Your work remind me of the sacrifice of the likes of Tata Madiba and George Bizos who fought for justice. I am an ordinary citizen who is not influential in SA. But you go into these places even on holiday to know the truth about the state of the farmers. I don’t have the words to describe your sacrifice to the course of the democratic process that I didn’t honour enough as an ordinary citizen. I would love to be like you and speak truth to power. But I spent my time on the internet watching movies and TV. Forgive me for not being able to work side by side with you

    • David Marsh says:

      Well said James Baxster! The freedom of the press and the work of people on DM and Open Secrets are one of the shining beacons in which South Africans can take pride.
      Interesting to follow up on Estina. What happened to the investigation into the recent murder of Hawks investigator Col Mathida and allegations of army involvement? It went quiet – why?

    • Peter Tuffin says:

      I feel the same. Courageous people are doing brave work. I don’t have the skill set for it, but I do have some money, which allows me to be a Daily Maverick insider.

    • Graeme de Villiers says:

      Your sarcasm is deteriorating, James

  • Lyle Ferrett says:

    I feel like “State Capture” is too mild a term. Can you think of something more catchy to wake potential ANC voters up before election day?

    • Titus Khoza says:

      What is that “wake potential ANC voters up before election day” about? Is that not patronising, do you think people need the likes of you to think for them?
      Please stick to your side of the ballot paper and we will stick to ours.
      Use your “enlightened, clever, superior people” thing to learn to think intelligently for once, and stop insulting people.

      Iig

      • Malcolm McManus says:

        Quite frankly, people who vote for the ANC clearly need help thinking. They lack education and basic knowledge about whats happening in the country. Surely 30 years of dismal failure and theft by the ANC is proof enough. I would like DM do a follow up article on this and do a survey of the victims of Estina and see who they intend voting for this election. It wouldn’t surprise me if most of them will still vote for the ANC.

      • Peter Cook says:

        Touched a nerve there! One does not need to go to Vrede or the FS to see the decay and witness the devastation brought about by lies, thieving, corruption and mismanagement of the country. Take a walk around your own suburb or re-read this DM article.

      • Sonja Bakker says:

        Maybe you should talk to the people that are not able to put food on the table because of the ANC, or people that are dying in the corridors of non functional hospitals. Ours schools that has a pass rate of 30%, our young people that has started stealing because etc government has run our country into the ground. Maybe you are one of the people that got the 30% pass rate, then I can understand your inability to think for yourself.

      • JDW 2023 says:

        Oh, the irony of your attack, Titus. Your ‘us-versus-them’ delusions are spilling out.

      • David A says:

        Defensive much?

      • William Dryden says:

        Yes Titus, you stick to your side of the ballot paper, and we will see the destruction of South Africa, obviously you also need to wake up and smell the rot caused by the ANC.

      • John Smythe says:

        Ok. Then stay unenlightened.

      • Michael Thomlinson says:

        You don’t need to be enlightened, clever or superior to understand what a corrupt ANC government has done to the people of this country. You need to look and see what is blatantly obvious. Anyone who votes for the ANC is doing a diservice to all the people (black, white indian and coloured) of this country.

      • Samuel Ginsberg says:

        Patronising? Maybe that’s what they deserve for what they are condemning the country to.

      • Gavin Hillyard says:

        I don’t think Lyle was trying to be insulting Titus. He was merely saying that after 30 years of a downward spiral, it is perplexing that many voters are likely to put their Xs in the ANC block, despite the evidence of fraud, theft and mis-management that is there for all to see. Take a trip to Zimbabwe Titus, and see first hand where we could be in 5 years time.

    • James P says:

      ANC Treason would be a better description

  • Graham Swan says:

    It is so obvious all these cadres (and senior ANC politicians) need to go to a ‘cadre University’….they must pass 4 subjects:
    – Mastering theft
    – Mastering looting
    – Mastering LYING
    – Mastering destroying/destruction
    – Mastering in being an idiotic clown
    – Mastering how to protect your fellow criminal cronies
    = A MASTERS DEGREE IN CADRE

  • drew barrimore says:

    A gift voucher and some meat. This is how the ANC has run their Third World vision of running a country – we are not far from being Zimbabwe and Venezuela – a future of water trucks, food hampers and dignity packs, with the long sad queues that accompany it. Queues as long as the soon-to-fail NHI’s queues as we watch the same people who destroyed the public health system destroy what’s left. Please vote this scum out of office on May 29

  • Richard Blake says:

    Another successful production bought to you by the ANC.

  • Denise Smit says:

    Not on holiday , it is her work, she is a journalist. Good feedback on your election road trip Feral

  • Tumelo Tumelo says:

    However ruinous you think the ANC is, especially outside the metropolitans, they are actually exponentially worse! The selfishness and coldness they have shown to their own-during the so called lost decade is honestly- leaves one wholly benumbed.

    • D'Esprit Dan says:

      100%. I travel to the eastern Free State and Eastern Cape frequently, and the ANC actually isn’t just cold to the plight of the people – there is a feral hatred of anyone who dares to interrupt their gorging of the public purse: witness the murder of anyone who spills the beans. And witness too, the lack of convictions of those responsible and the paymasters behind the treasonous murders. Absolute, unadulterated evil.

  • Bob Fraser says:

    Bob F May 15th 2024 at 06:50
    I’m sure many voters like me question the South African justice system on a daily basis. We have a piece paper which is considered “the best constitution in the world, but what is the worth of a great constitution if the justice system is unworkable. both Zuma and Àce Magashule should by now have served very lengthy prison sentences. Of course there is no hope of this happening now. Both these criminal types are permitted to represent political parties in the upcoming election. So is this supposed to be South African justice.

  • Corry Versluis says:

    Yet that, and other affected communities will still vote anc (overwhelmingly).
    Done feeling sorry for them.

    • Klaus Wiswedel says:

      Why is it so difficult to get lifestyle audits of our politicians and public office bearers ??

      • D'Esprit Dan says:

        Turkeys don’t vote for Christmas.

      • Matt Simon says:

        It’s not difficult. It just won’t happen.
        Should the audits somehow be actioned, what value dose the information provide? Remember, some communities feel empowered when someone they look to is ‘making it’ in their view

    • Alley Cat says:

      Indeed! I conducted a straw poll amongst my staff and they said they vote for the DA in municipal elections “because they know how to run a municipality” and ANC in the general elections “because of the struggle”. Go figure??
      Yet I asked those same people why we celebrate youth day on June 16th (10% correct answers), who was Hector Pieterson (ZERO correct answers), what caused the Soweto uprising in 1976 (10% correct answers). Yet they all live in Soweto???

  • Noel Soyizwaphi says:

    Administrations from the start were corrupt, some more so than others. From Van Riebeeck, the D.E.I.C. expatriate, sent here to self redeem after being caught using company resources for personal financial interest. The Dutch rule he set up was marred in tax evasions and corruption until it was overthrown by the English in 1795. On its foot steps, the British rule continued as public funds were diverted to serve private interests. Prominent among them Cecil John Rhodes, who was eventually forced to resign for awarding 18 year contracts to close relatives. Paul Kruger’s Transvaal administration was riddled with corruption, nepotism abound as he personally did favours to his concubines and connected few. Millions wasted in B.J.Voster’s Muldergate. PW Botha’s wasteful expenditure as toilets were built in a veld. Hendrik Verwoed, how can anyone forget the benevolent, “colourful”, most beneficial system of apartheid, crime against humanity, itself corruption at grand scale, advancing only 3 million citizens, of course not if you are beneficiary. Corruption has been a constant theme throughout and no matter how many times the lie is repeated that it is synonymous with certain section it will not be the truth. It is a sickness that citizens must fight and stop bickering over petty and trivial matters of race and racism. Thi is not a Keiser Chiefs vs Orlando Pirates matter, political parties are all self-serving, narrow-minded and sectarian. Future generations will blame all of us.

    • Andre Louw says:

      You make a very valid point. The sooner we all realise the simple fact that the political elite are there only to serve themselves, the better. They are mistakenly looked at as our “leaders” when in reality they are elected by us to serve.

      • Joy Rossouw says:

        The gravy train will continue to travel, it’s just the passengers that change

      • D'Esprit Dan says:

        Gravy trains in every country in the world. Ours is just amongst the most despicable: it literally kills people every day. In addition, just because it’s a universal phenomenon, should we accept it, especially the chronic levels it’s at? Then we may as well accept the levels of GBV, rape, murder etc that are spiralling out of control in SA as universal issues. No, we must fight it, control it, and move as far as possible to eliminate the disgusting scourge that is corruption in our society, whatever the source.

    • Tumelo Tumelo says:

      Thank you for the brilliant comment.

    • Ryckard Blake says:

      Cecil John Rhodes was forced to resign by the British government 6 Jan 1896 for his suspected involvement in the outrageous Jameson Raid. Corruption? But man, did this politician leave a legacy!!
      Trying to understand Soyizwaphi’s charges against Verwoerd (apartheid) Vorster (Muldergate) And PW Botha (toilets in the veld and much other wasteful expenditure), you clearly have a different understanding of “corruption” to my, conventional one. Not all SA politicians (not Smuts, not Hertzog, not Malan) have been shown to have enriched themselves or those close to them by criminally corrupt activities, so it is wrong to try to exonerate the crowd of crooks, thieves and gangsters who have been running SA into the ground, by suggesting that 300 years of white leaders also trashed the country whilst leading corrupt lives.

    • James Leroy says:

      Oh, you’re so right Noel. The difference is that the anc has taken it to the extreme. There is corruption everywhere. But in all those other countries, the bridge still gets built. Here, they double the budget, then steal everything. The bridge does not get built, but the double the money is spent.

    • Gavin Hillyard says:

      It is a new one to me that Oom Paul Kruger had concubines. There always has been, and there will always be corruption. But it seems to me that the corruption endemic in our country must be pretty spectacular to threaten its’ very existence.

  • Sergei Rostov says:

    “State capture”, “state capture”, “state capture”. Rather 30 years of government failure.

  • Divienne Conyngham says:

    It’s not just Durban. Towns like Standerton, Bethal are worse. The whole of the interior is just a shambles. Once you drive off the main highways and out of the big cities it is a sight to behold. It gives you a true reflection of just how much this country has deteriorated and it just breaks your heart. God knows what it will look like in another 20 years. Please all vote sensibly and wisely.

    • D'Esprit Dan says:

      Was in Lusaka, Zambia recently and the CBD is much cleaner than Joburg, no potholes at all and the traffic lights are no worse than here, despite 10-14 hours of load shedding a day. I know that in the industrial areas the roads are lousy and in smaller towns in Zambia conditions are appreciably worse than Lusaka, but no more so than most of our small towns have become.

  • Geoff Coles says:

    Not so terribly negative Ferial, we’re you not ANC you could do much more.

  • I have been teading the Estina Dairy Farm update and the small nitty grity features of your Article.
    Yes Ace might have had his short-comings and for real the small towns are dead. Potholes Street nyaopes etc is the order of the Day. But in reality he did make some inroads during his tenure.

    Notabl the N1 had a dual carriageway between Bloem and the next 50km towards Colesburg.
    The N6 was upgraded.
    The N5 was also upgraded.If he was still there by now the N1 might be a dual carriageway between Bloem and Colesburg.
    The ANC has not done any road upgrades nationally in the past 5 years since Zuma left.
    The once notable R59 Highway link is now just Potholes. From Hoopstaad there’s no more R59..
    What a disgrace. Our leaders just fly they don’t see the roads we have to navigate through.
    Bring bavk Ace… He is still my hero..

    • Rod H MacLeod says:

      Oh dear. Another commentator who doesn’t understand who looks after the “N” routes. It’s SANRAL, dummy. Ace and his cronies “looked after” the R59, which is a provincial road, and by your own admission now a potholed misery. But go ahead and vote for him – it sounds like you’re a kindred spirit of his.

    • D'Esprit Dan says:

      All the N roads are Sanral roads – absolutely nothing to do with Magashule and his criminal administration. The provincial ‘R’ roads, on the other hand, were his provincial ambit – and they have collapsed, as you so correctly point out. He did nothing for the Free State or its people, just lorded over it like a personal fiefdom to be looted by him and his crony elite.

    • Chris Buys says:

      Oh dear. Such confidence. You don’t even know what you don’t know. Please try and be better.

  • Trevor Gray says:

    The so called state capture is pure Treason! Stop using soft words for a hard fact!

  • Alley Cat says:

    And the tragedy is that on the easter weekend there was ONE person on site. One can donate property / dairy farms etc. but without proper training in agriculture, they will be doomed to fail!

    • Malcolm McManus says:

      Correct, and the same goes if property, particularly farms gets taken away from you by force as the likes of Julius would have it. Then we are really in trouble. Training or not, the assets will just be sold off for quick gain and cease to produce at all.

  • Beyond Fedup says:

    And this odious scumbag and his minions are still free!! No consequences, no attachments of assets etc.
    A real case of adding insult to injury, but this is the way of the anc – stealing the country blind at the expense of the nation and part of the NDR.

  • Jess Bouwer says:

    Who at the farm knows or cares that daily milking is essential to keep a cow at maximal milk production.

  • Alexis Kriel says:

    “The Commission of Inquiry into State Capture confirmed that money meant for the project was laundered out of the province to pay for the 2013 Sun City Bollywood wedding of the Gupta daughter, Vega Gupta, to Aakash Jahaggarhia.” I believe that the feasts at this wedding were strictly vegetarian; and the animal abuse on this farm was spectacular. How do Vega and Aakash justify a blessed wedding in the name of the horror it left in its wake.

  • Les Thorpe says:

    Another year goes by without the main “role players” in state capture appearing in court (apart from several arrests which mean nothing in S.A. as court cases go on for years and years without resolution). Despite what the NPA repeatedly says apropos prosecution of these perps, I’m of the opinion that state capture is a “no go” space for the NPA, no doubt because of political interference.

  • Penny Philip says:

    And this is the perfect example of why liberation movements don’t usually make good peace time governments. They feel that cadres need repaying for their loyalty to the cause, at the expense of the very people they supposedly fought for.

  • Rae Earl says:

    We were forced to detour through Harrismith two years ago en-route to the Drakensberg. Our last visit to the town was 20 years ago. The difference was horrifying. A once thriving and vibrant town has been reduced to a large scale Vrede with broken roads, shuttered shop windows, and a feeling of hopelessness. Two people in the main are responsible for this shocking decline in our towns around SA, Jacob Zuma and Cyril Ramaphosa. Zuma sold SA to a family from India. Ramaphosa inherited Zuma’s corrupt government and has kept nearly all his thieving cabinet comrades in place and refused to release the Zondo report . He is now (today) about to buy votes by launching an absolutely unworkable and disastrous NHI costing billions. Sadly, on May 29th Zuma will get votes and so will Ramaphosa. The unemployed and poor will once again get what the ask for, theft and blatant corruption from the top down. The only hope is a DA/MPC win but, scant hope there.

  • D'Esprit Dan says:

    One correction, Ferial, in an otherwise very good article:

    “It symbolises how the country has struggled to recover from the lost decade of grand corruption.”

    The corruption continues unabated, unashamedly, and in many instances, ramped up under the couch stuffing somnambulist: nobody of any consequence has been held properly to account under Ramaphosa, and in many instances, service delivery had continued to decline, jobs continue to be shed and living standards continue to plummet because of Ramaphosa and his insistence on putting party before people – why else is his cabinet stuffed with Zuma-era crooks?

  • David Crossley says:

    Ace Magashula is a disgrace to this country. There is no doubt in my mind that his attempt to run for office is a smokescreen to divert attention from his past activities.
    What a pity such a beautiful part of the country with such potential has been hollowed out by the likes of this disgraceful individual and his cohorts.

  • D'Esprit Dan says:

    I wanted to compile a list of all the leaders of political parties registered in SA to see how many of them are crooks, but I gave up on after the first ten listed alphabetically because only one had a website. Such a basic thing in the 21st century – like having a landline in the 80s – but it seems that most of the upstart parties can’t even put that together. How useless are you if you can’t even get a basic website up with your leaders and policies there for people to see?

  • Let the law take its course

  • Would like to be constantly informed

  • Nonnie Oelofse says:

    Magashule will NEVER be prosecuted, because he knows to much about ramauseless and his thieving cadres…BUT BELIEVE ME, THEY WILL ALL PAY THE ULTIMATE PRICE IN HELL FOR ETERNITY!!!!🔥🔥🔥

  • D'Esprit Dan says:

    Has anybody else heard the gushing radio ads by our new Minister of Transport, Sindisiwe Chikunga? The one where she lies through her teeth about the ‘progress’ in our infrastructure? One of the most galling bits is the one where she praises the ANC government for growing the National roads network from 7,000km in 2007 to over 22,000km today!

    Great progress! And the numbers – for once from the ANC – are actually correct! One small devil in the detail: that growth was because 15,000km of roads were transferred from the provinces to SANRAL, because the provinces were too corrupt and inept to look after them, so SANRAL took over the burden. This burden, in turn, is why SANRAL could not self-fund the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Programme (toll roads), or go to market to borrow because it was in hoc to the provincial roads improvements in rural ANC provinces.

    So the corruption, ineptitude and off the charts costs escalations we’ve been subject to in Gauteng to fund the toll roads is a direct result of her party and it’s wanton destruction of roads in our provinces. Now, is she simply misinformed by copywriters, having only assumed the portfolio in 2023? Nope. She was Deputy Minister under Fix Fokol before that, and was also Deputy Transport Minister from 2014, when the bulk of this transfer was concluding. My conclusion? Just another ANC liar. And absolutely in step with the liars and thieves this article highlights.

  • Robert de Vos says:

    Hmmm …. so the ANC cadre collective is doing a far worse job than the previous lot and yet they get voted in again? What does that say?

    • Louis Botha says:

      You get the government you vote for.

      If the majority of the country votes for ANC or EFF and they coalesce, they deserve every perk that comes with it.

      If the majority votes for IFP/DA/ActionSA/etc and they coalesce, they similairly deserve every perk that comes with it.

      • Scott Gordon says:

        100 % correct .
        What is the turnout at the polls ? 40/50/60 %
        If I had the non voters votes , I could run this country 🙂
        no coalition needed !

  • Wayde Anthony Kruger says:

    Titus, very sad that you attempt to portray the writer as patronising, but do the very same thing by telling them to “stick to their side of the ballot paper”. I know what you mean by that, but why don’t you spell it out so that your prejudice is horribly visible.

  • Rob vZ says:

    So depressing to think what could have been. Imagine if 30 years of taxes had not been stolen, but had instead been well spent on transparent and competent services. The money was there and we trusted the ANC of Mandela to build this nation. It should be flying by now.
    Breaks my heart that I voted for the ANC in 94. What an appalling legacy. And yet the electorate just won’t believe their liberators are their economic oppressors, while the DA who are bending over backwards to run a clean government, are accused of wanting to bring but apartheid. How did we get here?

  • Middle aged Mike says:

    Ace and crew didn’t vote themselves in over and over. It’s always worth remembering that when casting about for parties to pin the blame on.

  • Albert Smith says:

    By the people for the people! A loota continua

  • Nina Bodisch says:

    “I’ve learnt that you can feel corruption when visiting Eskom, Transnet, and other sites of capture. There is a lethargy of people and place when an institution is repurposed for taking from rather than giving in service to the country. ” – Corruption and malfeasance have such a demoralizing ripple effect on everyone living in this country, except for the crooks themselves. No healthy economy, no jobs, no income, nothing to do all day except sit around in hopeless boredom and frustration. Social grants are so demeaning! People should be able to find gainful employment and feel proud of generating their own funds in a meaningful way as a contributing member of society. Kids should be attending school with full bellies, eager to absorb education with realistic chances of becoming doctors, teachers, scientists, engineers, lawyers…Everyone should have enough nutritious food to create vibrant health in body and mind. I suppose I sound like a Pollyanna. Anyway, let’s all do our civic duty on 29th May and keep on keeping on regardless.

  • Maverick news is authentic

  • Chris Brand says:

    I was taught at a very young age, even before any schooling the following by my parents (just a single example of many home-teachings): “The only ‘theft’ that you may ‘commit’, is to watch when a knowledgeable person performs any legal activity successfully, you can copy his/her actions until you can achieve the same excellent results”. Otherwise this is actually not “stealing” but LEARNING BY BEING OBSERVANT AND PRACTISING IT until you succeed (i.e. perseverance – not giving up). After spending BILLIONS of RANDS on the Zondo Commission to “get a better understanding of a fraction of the true full State Capture” (in the past 20-30 years ?), NOBODY that are mentioned that STOLE > R100K has been prosecuted and jailed (nor assets seized) – in retrospect the tax payer’s money spent on the Zondo Commission was just another “State Capture Magic Trick” to divert attention from the ongoing “Country-wide degradation” to lower everything in the RSA to the lowest common living standards in the world. The CCP (with its cronies like Iran and other terrorist groups) are the leaders in this who does not even know that they are doing exactly what the Soros/Gates/WHO/WEF/UN/etc. collaborative Grouping have “bribed” them into doing which is ironically going to lead to their own demise. Big Corporates think that they will be the main beneficiaries but they will actually be the “main losers” and will be made extinct. ‘Nuff said.

    • Middle aged Mike says:

      The zondo commission was just the most expensive example of the multitude of the things we’ve had since the glorious liberation movement started dropping coils on us. They all achieve exactly the same things which are primarily to divert attention and provide time for the gormless electorate to move on and focus on something else.

  • Very touchy….useless government.
    Worse than aparthied

  • Jean de Chalain says:

    Thank you for the tireless work and well written article with the elections ever closer , although I know most people are now acutely aware of how few have taken much and left little to many , it is yet another warning that they have the choice to end limping along and barely surviving to becoming a prosperous nation capable of giving a better life to all who genuinely seek it.

  • Honestly, I think we as South African are irresponsible, corrupt politicians keep starting new political parties with confidence, because they know people don’t vote for merit.

  • Jane Crankshaw says:

    The real victims are the South African taxpayers….

  • Egmont Rohwer says:

    OZumandius – Apologies to Percy Bysshe Shelly
    I met a traveller from an African land
    Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
    Stand in the desert . . . . Near them, on the sand,
    Half sunk, a shattered village lies, a clown,
    With giggling lip, and lack of true command,
    Tell that its sculptor, well those passions read
    Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
    The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed:
    And on the pedestal these words appear:
    “ My name is Ozumandias, king of kings:
    Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!”
    Nothing besides remains, Round the decay
    Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
    The lone and level sands stretch far away.

  • It is very good that you chase up these state capture stories.
    At times I feel some of these persons are also captured. The corruption from 2018 today is very serious but it is never followed as vigorously as the Gupta stories. This gives rise to paid so called “Journalist” to devout their energies and resuscitate old stories, This makes me sick.

    • Ryckard Blake says:

      You despise journalists for being paid, or for following up unresolved scandals, or what exactly about them is making you sick?
      What makes ME sick is abuse of the Latin alphabet and the English expression thereof by all the recent self-renamings like Dhlmth . . . .
      You couldn’t just post as Tandazo?

  • Deirdré Lubbe says:

    As the saying goes, where there’s a will there’s a way. The ANC cadres don’t seem to have the will. How is it that Ace Magashule is still talking the talk?

  • Lenka Mojau says:

    Magashule and Zwane act loan like they are psychopaths. What they did here will haunt them forever. They have thrown their political limelight into the drain (even though they were never true comrades, they were singers and Mbeki warned us about those who always lead struggle songs, they were Cde Tsotsi from the onset).

  • Craig Gordon Nain says:

    This is, I fully realise, not the place for the following comment, but, since the article addresses wasteful expenditure, it does bear some relevance.
    I am a regular listener to RSG and note that there is an advertisement aired repeatedly during the course of most days, if not every day, by Rand Water.
    Firstly, the utility provider operates within, as I understand things, a well defined geographical area and serves people living in the Witwatersrand. Accordingly, why would the utility spend money broadcasting to people outside the relevant geographic area, presumably at a cost substantially higher than local radio stations reaching a smaller, but far more pertinent, listenership?
    Secondly, I would venture to suggest that the motivation behind the advertisement is to educate customers of the Utility and inform them of the potential damage to its assets that can arise from unauthorised excavation and building. I would venture further to say that the message is quite likely falling on deaf ears.
    Surely this is tantamount to wasteful expenditure? Is this something that DM considers of further investigation?
    Tune in to RSG, listen to the advert and see whether something can be d0ne to save some money for the people using Rand Water’s services by getting their senior management to apply some common sense.

    • Ryckard Blake says:

      One of the less outrageous examples of wasteful expenditure of public money.
      Whatever contributes to keeping RSG lighting up the airwaves is OK by me

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