Criminal investigation needed into bribe – Zille

Statement issued by Mayor of Cape Town March 4 2008.


After considering information that has emerged over the past months regarding the offer of a sub-council chair to former ID councillor Sheval Arendse as an inducement to join the DA by Kent Morkel, then DA Provincial Chair, I have decided to open a criminal investigation into this matter.

On 22nd February I submitted an affidavit at the Rondebosch Police Station setting out the details of the case and why I believe it should be investigated by the SAPS. The investigation has since been moved to the Organised Crime Unit in Bellville, under detective Kenneth Speed.

In various radio interviews and newspaper articles Kent Morkel confirms that he signed an offer to Cllr Sheval Arendse promising him the position of sub-council chair.

Cllr Arendse also acknowledged in the media to having accepted the inducement.

In these statements both appear to admit to committing a crime.  They should therefore face charges. 

Based on legal advice obtained in the matter of Cllr Badih Chaaban, the offering or accepting of an inducement to or by a public official may constitute an act of corruption in terms of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act.   The details of the charge are in the attached affidavit by me. 

The Erasmus Commission has subpoenaed and published untested allegations around the Morkel/Arendse affair.  

When this happened, I realised for the first time why the ANC was so determined to press ahead with the Erasmus Commission. 

If the Commission's purpose had genuinely been to inquire into the City's investigation of Cllr Badih Chaaban, the report and comprehensive annexures of the Josie Jordaan Committee of Inquiry would have sufficed to supply all the necessary information.  Furthermore, the exhaustive police investigation would have been able to deal with any allegations of wrongdoing.  It is quite clear that neither the City nor the DA transgressed in any way in the Badih Chaaban investigation.

However the ANC's real purpose in establishing the Erasmus Commission was to provide a platform to Kent Morkel and Sheval Arendse in their attempt to discredit the DA. Kent Morkel crossed the floor in order to escape the consequences of his actions inside the DA on several matters.  Sheval Arendse was unable to do so because he could not draw together enough councillors to follow him into the ANC.

The attempt to offer Morkel and Arendse a safe political platform is the political motive behind the establishment of the Erasmus Commission of Inquiry. It is both illegal and unconstitutional and an abuse of taxpayers' money.

The ANC wants Morkel and Arendse to use the Erasmus Commission to expose their own nefarious activities inside the DA and then be offered immunity from prosecution through the Commission.  This is cynical in the extreme.

I completely agree that the full truth should come out. There has been no attempt whatsoever to conceal any information.  In fact, I would very much like to know all the details of Kent Morkel's devious activities while he was part of the DA, and for these to be made public.  I tried in vain to have him disciplined through internal Party structures while he was still a member, but nothing ever came of these attempts.

If, as a member of the ANC, Kent Morkel and his allies think they can boast about their own illegal activities, and attempt to shift the blame to the DA, they must do so from an appropriate platform, and that is the dock in a criminal court, where they can explain themselves and take the consequences of their actions.

We will not allow the ANC to now treat them as "royal game" in the comfortable environment of a commission illegally constituted for party political purposes to attack the DA, while offering them immunity from prosecution.



I, the undersigned



hereby make oath and state that:

1.                  I am an adult female politician, currently the Leader of the Democratic Alliance and resident at Rosebank and contactable through the DA Leader's office in Parliament.

2.                  The facts deposed to herein are true and correct and within my personal knowledge, unless indicated to the contrary, or apparent from the context.         

3.                  I attach a copy of the agreement signed between Kent Morkel MPL and Councillor Sheval Arendse and dated 3 April 2006.

4.                  I also refer to the various radio interviews and articles (such as the attached Cape Argus article on February 12 "Morkel vows to expose DA payoffs") in which Morkel confirms that he signed an offer to Cllr Sheval Arendse, in terms of which an inducement was made to Cllr Arendse to leave the Independent Democrats and join the Democratic Alliance. In exchange for this, Arendse was promised by Morkel the position of subcouncil chair.

5.                  Cllr Arendse acted on the signed document, in that after he was elected as a Democratic Alliance councillor, he approached me with it and demanded that he be appointed to the position of subcouncil chair.  I refused, as the Democratic Alliance does not allow such agreements.  He thus clearly accepted the inducement.

6.                  In my opinion, and based on legal advice I have received in my capacity as Mayor of the City of Cape Town in the matter of Cllr Badih Chaaban, this constitutes an act of corruption in terms of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act.

7.                  I do not believe that the alleged payments constitute corruption, as they were for the performance of work and to compensate Cllr Arendse for loss of income during the period between his resignation and his re-election.  He did not receive anything more from the DA than he would have retained had he remained with the ID.  Indeed he lost benefits.  This, therefore, cannot be seen as an inducement to cross the floor.  However, a position of sub-council chair would have been a significant additional benefit to Councillor Arendse, over and above what he would have received had he remained with the ID.  The offer of this position was, therefore, was such an inducement.

8.                  Mr Kent Morkel and Councillor Arendse have repeatedly stated publicly in recent weeks that they were involved in offering or receiving a bribe respectively.  I am of the view that it is in the public interest that these allegations be investigated and I therefore request the police to conduct such investigation.



DATED AT                                                    THIS                DAY OF FEBRUARY 2008.





I testify that the Deponent has acknowledged that s/he knows and understands the contents of this affidavit, which was signed and affirmed/sworn to before me at                                        on this                         day of              2008, in compliance with the Regulations contained in Government Notice R1258 dated 21 July 1972, as amended.




This statement was issued by the Mayor of Cape Town, Helen Zille, on March 4 2008