Sexwale outraged over 'bribery'

2011-06-28 21:23

Cape Town - The former leader of the Special Investigations Unit's probe into public housing corruption allegedly buried charges against the National Home Builders' Registration Council (NHBRC) before taking a cushy job with it, Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale said on Tuesday.

An outraged Sexwale said the NHBRC offered Vanessa Somiah a salary of more than R1m a year - nearly double her pay at the SIU - to quit the corruption busting unit, in a move he described as "bribery".

Sexwale said Somiah had since been suspended from the NHBRC post, which was created without the requisite ministerial approval.

Somiah oversaw the SIU's four-year-old probe into corruption in public housing and was personally tasked with investigating corruption allegations within the NHBRC at the request of the ministry.

At the same time, she was secretly offered or applied for a senior post in the NHBRC, allegedly in collusion with its CEO Sipho Mashinini, who was one of the people under investigation, Sexwale said.

"It came to light that, at the same time as she was in the process of working on the report for the department of human settlements, she was ostensibly negotiating with, and subsequently became employed by the NHBRC at almost twice the salary she was earning at the SIU.

"Within weeks of her employment the NHBRC while conducting some kind of disciplinary action against its employees, listed Ms Vanessa Somiah as a witness against some of them who were whistleblowers while she was at the SIU.

"It is quite clear to any thinking person what the objectives of all these machinations were about.

"I regard all this as not only devious but also shocking, to realise how some of those who are supposed to be in authority in our campaign against corruption can undertake such reprehensible measures to undermine this fight," Sexwale said.

Half measures

He said Mashinini had been given a final written warning and would be the subject of further investigations.

"The council has been further advised that investigations around Mr Mashinini ought not to be conducted while he is in office."

Sexwale said he was in favour of all possible steps being taken against those involved in covering up corruption at the NHBRC, including criminal charges.

"I don't want half measures ... I really don't take prisoners on this kind of thing."

He said the SIU would repeat the investigation into allegations of corruption at the NHBRC, as the report he had received was clearly "a whitewash" riddled with discrepancies that warranted proper analysis.

SIU head Willie Hofmeyr said this should take two to three months.

Hofmeyr said the affair was deeply unpleasant for the SIU and had been uncovered thanks to information received from the National Education Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu).

"We have received very good co-operation from the union in this whole investigation and I do want to thank them for that," he said.

Hofmeyr said Nehawu members blew the whistle before the Easter weekend, complaining that they had given Somiah information against Mashinini which she had failed to properly investigate.

Somiah left the SIU at the end of April, but failed to disclose that she was taking a job with NHBRC and had a conflict of interest.

"By that stage she had resigned, but she did not tell us who her new employer was," he said.

"The SIU is appalled by these allegations that reflect very negatively on the important work that we are tasked to do.

"We would like to make it clear that this kind of behaviour, if it is proven to be correct, will not be tolerated under any circumstances and that we will pursue individuals implicated in such behaviour harshly and vigorously."


Hofmeyr said that, at this stage, he could not say how much money was involved in the alleged corruption at the NHBRC or how many people were implicated.

The NHBRC's previous chairperson, who resigned last year, is also under investigation.

The NHBRC was established under the Housing Consumer Protection Measures Act, mainly to protect the interest of housing consumers and to regulate the home building industry.

The SIU's overall investigation into public housing corruption has so far led to the recovery of R55m. Sources said the SIU was confident that the probe had not been compromised by Somiah's alleged misconduct.

  • jock - 2011-06-28 21:43

    bribery is so rife in every department and as in the arms purchases every one gets away with it.

  • Mad Dog - 2011-06-28 21:45

    Just how did Tokyo Sexwale make his millions?

      shumifan - 2011-06-29 09:44

      Billions not millions

      Virginia - 2011-06-29 11:39

      Mad Dog,the same as Mandela, Mbeki, Zuma, Malema, you name them, but it does not mean that he cant speak out about what is happening.

      Snoopy88 - 2011-06-29 19:35

      He's a BEE baby and as it turns out quite good at it. I trust him more than all the rest for this reason. Doesn't need to steal because he is already filthy rich. He is a capitalist. He is media savvy and won't chase away the direct foreign investment we need so badly... He had made all the right moves by not spending ostentaciously, ie. drives a cheaper car. His wife is white and his kids are coloured. I think he would actually as president consider the welfare of everyone. Hopefully he has a indian auntie somewhere too! But most importantly, he won't embarrass us... Tokyo for president!

  • Warslat - 2011-06-28 21:50

    Sexwale shouldn't be outraged. It's the standard modus operandi of the ANC to fight corruption with more corruption

      nzs - 2011-06-28 23:14

      I can (and am entitled to) also add that this political butterfly (SEX-wale) should indeed not be "outraged" as he is one of those who endorsed that sex-crazed buffoonery polygamist that moonlights as head of state in the latter's bid to escape fraud and corruption charges. All this alleged outrage by SEX-wale is nothing but a cheap shot at solidifying his bid for the presidency of the ANC in 2012. Mr SEX-wale has been using his ministry as a springboard to launch his presidential ambitions. Yes, this Somiah character deserves to be fried. But the two-faced SEX-wale should hardly be the executioner in this case, even though he is a minister. How can he fight corruption if he endorses someone with over 700 charges of fraud, corruption, money laundering, racketeering as head of state?

      AndV - 2011-06-29 12:15

      Does not matter how they argue, the ANC is corrupt and all their cronies loot whatever they can, just like their leader JZ. He surrounded himself with likeminded thugs and thinks the western world does not take note.... Mr Sexwale is an opportunist and too weak to speakout and disassociate himself with the corrupt party-pals. He is endorsing it by saying nothing...

  • thefeather - 2011-06-28 21:56

    Poetry in motion here. Fluid stupidity, it boggles the mind that she didn't think she would get caught.

      Charlie - 2011-06-29 08:38

      She probably knew she may get caught...but when there's no punishment for corruption and fraud for anc members why worry!

  • Greg - 2011-06-28 22:05

    Eish, isn't that just the norm these days! Pehaps this could be refered to as nationalisation of the of the tax payes fund.

  • R.Suppards - 2011-06-28 22:06

    Bury her Tokyo, and the whole stinking septic mess of Government funded housing. WE, the taxpayers, are sick, sick, sick, of the cANCer corruption corroding our land. Really, Tokyo, do you want to be associated with this SLIME??

  • Fred - 2011-06-28 22:08

    It's amazing how many of our government ministers are "outraged" at all the corruption going on in their ranks, but when are we actually going to see some severe action being taken to punish the offenders and to discourage the others from doing the same thing???????

  • Monica - 2011-06-28 22:24

    Get rid of the criminals employed in government; send them to jail and they have to pay back the money that they have stolen from the poor. That is the only way that this country is going to get rid of crime and criminals; which a lot of them are employed in the police force; defence force and other departments like the municipality.

      umlaut - 2011-06-29 08:15

      Send them to jail you say--It didn't work with SHAIK. We have no working system anymore- ABSOLUTELY ----NO---CONTROL---====anc

      SaintBruce - 2011-06-29 13:22

      Above ground jails are full - maybe use old mine at Grootvlei (drop them in and there is no more equipment to get them out)! Unfortunately you would have to jail the WHOLE Government!! I mean really - are there any honest people left there???

  • Mark - 2011-06-28 22:41

    I'm edging towards crying rather than laughing: Absolutely shocking that somebody who in such a position of responsibility and has a moral and ethical responsibility and duty to the country just takes a big sh** on everything their posts stand for, just so that they can bling it on...disgusting. The punch line is that the watchdogs of the watchdogs only click whats happening when its far too late,and us the benevolent and obedient tax payers just keep on pumping out those golden eggs...

      Virginia - 2011-06-29 11:05

      Mark in this country we all know money talks,Tenders, Jobs,Entering the country, motor vehicle licence, roadworthy, ID, Pasports you name it you can get it at a price in SA, and this in the end is all at the expense of the poor. Our current Leaders and officials do not have any morals to speak of.

  • R.Suppards - 2011-06-28 22:54

    Ag Shame, another "CONNECTED CROOK CAUGHT " Watch this space, if you can last until "JESUS COMES" Come on Zuma. Either act or step down. No fancy footwork. Act, or step down. NO CHOICE.WHAT IS IT TO BE???

      Snoopy88 - 2011-06-29 19:29

      Well like Zille said, he's trapped in a network of corruption. Owes 'favours' to too many people... So he just smiles and says inane things, all the while raking in as much as he can.

  • cgtours - 2011-06-28 22:55

    Sorry Tokyao, how the hell can you pay and off 1 million slaries when people are starving? WHO is worth 1 million and looknow!¬ Your reputation is gone man!! retire- Voters will NJOT trust you again.. Go Away - because you have an agenda for sure !!

      sanele cebekhulu - 2011-06-28 23:59

      read afresh cgtours its the NHBRC that offered Somiah 1 million

      Kuhle - 2011-06-29 01:44

      Did you read the article?

      freddy - 2011-06-29 06:38

      What are you on?

      McDaNife - 2011-06-29 08:40

      You got it all wrong cgtours, read again. It goes to show who can you trust if money is waved in front of you.

      tommo - 2011-06-29 09:16


      Vernon - 2011-06-29 10:17


  • MK - 2011-06-29 01:27

    NHBRC cost me R 1 000 000.00 in 3 Months. They are useless Idiots with no technical knowledge of the Building Industry. Let them have this Woman, they deserve it.

  • Marcell - 2011-06-29 01:37

    The NHBRC is the biggest scam after Cricket.

  • Nasdaq7 - 2011-06-29 04:21

    The one thing you are guaranteed in this life is that people will disappoint you.

  • Lyndatjie - 2011-06-29 06:58

    Go Sexwale!

  • KrayZee - 2011-06-29 07:37

    Disgusting Disgusting Disgusting. This is what the majority of ANC cadres are up to in the name of "The Struggle", in the name of "The People", in the name of the "Mass Democratic Movement". There you are Malema, if you want to know why there is no "economic freedom" in your country, look no further than the greedy, plundering cadres deployed by your ANC... Resources meant to address poverty, job creation, skills training etc. are being swallowed up by a few, now fabulously wealthy "connected" cadres - those you are so quick to laud as "products of the ANC" (albeit for the wrong reason). Did I say DISGUSTING??

      people.3000 - 2011-06-29 11:59

      You don't have to show Mal emmer anything about corruption, he knows, he's on the gravy train with them, he's a tenderpreneur remember, his badly built bridges are still collapsing in Limpopo.

  • Kishore Doodnath - 2011-06-29 08:11

    Don't get too happy now. She might get redeployed depending on who she is connected with and her revolutionary credentials - might end up as ambassador or HOD of something. Redeployment to jail is way doen the list might not last too long re Tony and Shabir.

  • michaelph - 2011-06-29 08:16

    not to worry - nothing further will happy champagne all round darlings

  • Hans - 2011-06-29 08:35

    Are there any government officials who are not is some way corrupt? I don't think so!!!

  • JMan - 2011-06-29 08:45

    The corruption just doesn't stop, does it? But why would it...when this country is "led by example"....

  • RIAAN - 2011-06-29 08:49

    Somiah suspended ? How can you suspend a person if he/she is in an unauthorised post? Why not just lock the office Mr Sexwale, if you are soooooooo outraged?

  • Daffy - 2011-06-29 08:59

    The Minister ordered the investigation, and now reveals the findings and you lot are still find him at fault...really now, so should he have just sat on the info and not revealed it to the public? But then, the government can do no right in your eyes.

      Snoopy88 - 2011-06-29 19:27

      Oh I think the Minister is fabulous. Probably one of the few trustworthy public servants we have. He should be president. And I'm thrilled that he's taking this hardnosed approach. What freaks me out is that she actually thought she could get away with it? South Africans don't understand what corruption is. Why shouldn't you use your position and connections to 'get ahead'? What's wrong with grabbing as much as you can before you get caught?

      Mike - 2011-06-30 07:40

      Read the comments Daffy, there are multiple examples where corruption/fraud is uncovered but never converted into justice. People are cynical because they get proved right most of the time. If there is a trend of justice and they have to eat their words they will start commenting in line with that new trend. Look at the causes, not the symptoms of people's sentiment.

  • theprodigy - 2011-06-29 09:07

    1st it was the Estate Agents Affairs Board (EAAB), now its the NHBRC. The are all corrupt & incompetant, & the ANCYL is vomiting demands for nationalilsation, the Govt. cant even manage their own departments. The EAAB & NHBRC has over the years bullied Estate Agents & building contractors with threats & strict rules, but have completely failed to do their jobs, now we learn of gross misconduct, negligence & corruption at the top...its disgusting

  • PH101 - 2011-06-29 10:22

    Corruption with the NHBRC is in plain view of anyone who has or does stay in anything built my M&T. Biggest crooks in the business. How do they ever get anything through NHBRC?

  • gallus - 2011-06-29 10:46

    Just another day in the happy, prosperous, non-sexist, non-racist, peaceful, democratic NEW South Africa where corruption and cronyism and protection of our pals in high places is frowned upon and fought tooth and nail by the president and all his trusty men.

  • AndV - 2011-06-29 12:08

    They belong in jail! Another case of incompetant, inherently corrupt and disgracefull behaviour by the beneficiaries of affirmative discrimination. Wherever these scum are in charge, the budgets are looted after which they are rewarded with another high profile job.

  • vmain - 2011-06-29 12:22

    Nothing changes in this corrupt, violent country. Why should we bail out the Eskom fiasco the Housing fraud the Roads problem the arms deal etc Is this how we are going to continue with no-one prepared to take a stand. We are labelled racist because we are white!!!! I think that is a joke. For 15 years we have been reading about the corruption and fraud that just keeps on going and will never stop.

  • Greg - 2011-06-29 13:01

    What would the figure be if we added up all the alleged missing funds and all the alleged stolen funds and all the missing funds and all the stolen funds?? Never mind the misappropriated funds! Lots of education, health and housing could be supported with a big number like that!

  • damit - 2011-06-29 13:52

    Today we are outraged, what were we yesterday and what will we be tomorrow. its like making the same mistake continually and expecting a different result, and extends right to the top.

  • damit - 2011-06-29 13:59

    Outraged are you Mr Sexwale? But what action will you take. None, no doubt in the name of quiet diplomacy. Bunch of cowards

  • - 2011-06-29 17:03

    I wonder if there is any chance that she could end up in jail for this? Smehow I think not. Thats the problem with this govt. they just get fired or supende3d on full pay - but never treated as the criminals they are!

  • bribebuster - 2011-06-29 19:34

    The NHBRC are a bunch of rip off agents as well. Many of them are on the take!!!

  • jacquesbasso - 2011-06-29 22:29

    My gut has it that Willie and Tokyo will sort this one out! Go for it.

  • jock - 2011-07-15 19:43

    bribery is expected in all of Africa

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