Godongwana must be held fully accountable
The resignation of Deputy Economic Development Minister, Enoch Godongwana, is a welcome development. It does, however, raise questions about whether the Deputy Minister was pushed out of office before all the investigations into his actions have run their full course.
He still needs to be held fully accountable for his involvement in Canyon Springs Investments, which allegedly stole workers' money.
The investigations by the SAPS and Public Protector into Godongwana's links to suspected criminal activity must continue until the true extent of his involvement is established. Both of these investigations are as a result of charges the Democratic Alliance (DA) submitted in November.
I will today write to the Minister of Economic Development, Ebrahim Patel, to ask that he appears before the portfolio committee to brief Parliament on this situation.
The Minister should also explain to Parliament why Deputy Minister Godongwana was allowed to stay on for so long and whether the Minister had any knowledge of Godongwana's financial dealings.
The allegations against Deputy Minister Godongwana are very serious. Reports indicate that:
- he has a stake in a company, Canyon Springs Investments, which defrauded textile workers' pension funds to the tune of R100 million;
- Canyon Springs funnelled money away from the textile workers' pension funds and into businesses connected to various ANC politicians, including Deputy Minister Godongwana;
- he attempted to conceal this information by not reporting his stake in this fraudulent company to Parliament as required by law.
The Deputy Minister's involvement in the fraudulent company, Canyon Springs Investments, and his failure to disclose his interests in this company, tarnished the reputation of the Economic Development Department.
If he is found guilty, every step should be taken to ensure that the money is recovered and given back to the people from whom it was stolen.
Statement issued by Kobus Marais MP, DA Shadow Minister of Economic Development, January 16 2012
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