Brian Hlongwa’s mansion: Gauteng’s ‘Nkandlagate' – Jack Bloom

DA MPL says house is a monument to corruption and represents stolen public money

Brian Hlongwa’s Mansion: Gauteng’s ‘Nkandlagate’

2 June 2018

The DA is today protesting outside the Bryanston house in Johannesburg which ANC Chief Whip, Brian Hlongwa bought for R7.2 million with the people’s money in August 2007. This house is a monument of corruption. It represents public money which was stolen from the Department of Health during his tenure as the Health MEC for Gauteng.

The National Health Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, has recently announced the introduction of the National Health Insurance legislation which would require greater state involvement in the management of funds for health. With the calibre of leaders which the ANC deploys to government, it can only mean that the NHI would be a massive looting project for the likes of Hlongwa and friends.

It is telling that this mass corruption which took place under Hlongwa was exposed several days ago and yet Premier David Makhura and the rest of the ANC have sought to protect him instead of holding him to account for the public money spent irregularly.

Hlongwa was Gauteng Health MEC at a time when the Gauteng Health Department (GHD) irregularly appointed a company called 3P to set up a Project Management Unit to award contracts for hundreds of millions of rand.

Hlongwa has admitted that he was friends with Richard Payne, 3P’s Managing Director, and evidence has been presented in court of payments made by Payne, that money was spent to buy and renovate Hlongwa’s multi-million rand house.

According to evidence submitted in court by the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP), there was "an apparent and generally corrupt relationship between Hlongwa and Payne".

In July 2014, the Johannesburg High Court granted an application by the NDPP for a preservation order on this property as a suspected proceed of crime in terms of section 38(2) of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act.

Hlongwa has opposed this, but it is puzzling why it has taken so long to finalize an asset forfeiture against this property. The reality is that this was property obtained through sheer theft of public money and justice should prevail in this regard.

The following payments have been identified in court documents concerning Hlongwa’s house and his previous house in College Drive Bryanston which was bought for a very generous amount:

- R1.5 million paid by Niven Pillay of Regiments Capital, which had a contact with the GHD, to Brisigo Properties, a company 100% owned by Hlongwa and his wife, to pay towards purchase of the Eccleston Crescent house;

- A further R2.6 million paid by Payne and Pillay towards the Eccleston house;

- The purchase for R4.75 million of Hlongwa’s previous house at College Drive in Bryanston by Kemsing Services (Pty) Ltd, a Cyprus-registered company owned by Hans Smidek, whose Baoki Consortium got a R1.4 billion Health Information Systems contract from GHD. It is alleged that “the timely sale of the College Drive property and the resultant access to the proceeds of the sale constituted a gratification as defined in the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act”;

- Refurbishment of the College Drive house by Ukwakha Dezign and Creative Building Projects for a total amount of R216 540.37, allegedly paid for by Payne, Pillay and their entities;

- Payment of R1 563 674 from Kemsing on 8 May 2009 into Hlongwa’s personal account purportedly for the purchase of furniture but is alleged to be “a cover-up for a cash gratification” and

- Payment for renovations to the Eccleston Crescent house amounting to R1 444 382.89 from Pillay and entities associated with Payne and Pillay.

These payments total about R12 million that allegedly assisted Hlongwa to sell his old house, buy a new one and renovate it.

The estimated total amount lost to corruption when he was Health MEC was about R2 billion.

The DA is protesting today outside this house, which is Gauteng’s own “Nkandla”, because all this money should have gone into healthcare for the people of our province.

We are also protesting because there has been an inordinate delay in bringing this to court so that the guilty can be punished.

The ANC in Gauteng has shamefully protected Hlongwa and last week voted down a motion in the Gauteng Legislature that would have forced him to resign.

We are exploring all legal avenues to ensure that he faces trial in court as soon as possible along with other implicated parties, and that every effort is made to recover stolen money.

There is good evidence to show that this house is a proceed of crime, and all those who benefitted from corrupt contracts in this matter should be jailed and “pay back the money”.

Endemic corruption in South Africa steals directly from the poor. The DA will do everything possible to put a stop to this kind of looting.

Issued by Jack BloomDA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC, 2 June 2018