Air Peace

Money For Free ANC Housing Siphoned


Almost half of R341 million allocated the South African government for social housing in Eastern Cape province has found its way into the pockets of construction companies in two other provinces with whom there no agreements for such.
An investigation ordered by Human Settlement Minister Lindiwe Sisulu found that a total of R165 million out of the R341 million had been forced transferred to two KwaZulu Natal and North West provinces between 2011 and 2013.
Both provinces have their own allocation of social housing funds for the purpose of government houses which are given out free of charge to veterans of the anti-apartheid struggle who are 60 and above have no houses of their own.
It turns out three senior government officials and two business operators are linked to the transfer of R165-million meant for Eastern Cape social housing projects to companies in KwaZulu-Natal and North West.
The Eastern Cape department of human settlements (ECDHS) has admitted that no official agreement existed for the Eastern Cape to fund projects in other provinces.
Under suspicion for the illegal transfer are Eugene Perumal, former corporate services manager in the Social Housing Regulatory Authority (SHRA) in Pretoria, and Brian Moholo, who was the chief executive of SHRA.
In affidavits exhibited in court, Moholo and Perumal are accused of forcing subordinates to move the money meant for Eastern Cape projects to two social housing companies, Moko in KwaZulu-Natal and Marang Estates in the North West province.
It was however not clear that Perumal and Moholo were fired from SHRA as a result of the Eastern Cape social housing fraud claims.
Shireen Annamalay, a director of Moko, and Reggie Mutsi, a director of Marang Estates of Mafikeng, were the recipients of R165-million from 2011 to 2013.
Jay Singh, director of Woodglaze Trading, which trades as Moko Housing, termed the documents as fake.
“The money was for First Metro projects. The documents you have are telling lies. That’s bulls**t documents. But call me next week for more on this,” said Singh.
Marang Estates project manager Sarel van Niekerk said he would only be able to comment next week.
In their defence before Judge Revelas in the Grahamstown High Court, in a matter between the state and Camel Rock social housing institute last year, Perumal and Moholo claimed there was “an agreement” between the provincial housing departments.
ECDHS spokesman Lwandile Sicwetsha, however, contradicted that claim.
“No, there is no arrangement for disbursements of funds between provinces,” said Sicwetsha.
One other name that keeps popping up is that of Gaster Sharpley, head of department department at ECDHS.
As HoD, Sharpley approved every cent of the R341-million, the balance of which went to some 16 companies in the Eastern Cape.
In an affidavit, a national treasury official, Levy Moshoette, said in reference to an e-mail Perumal wrote to a junior SHRA official: “My analysis of the e-mail … revealed ECDHS had to identify projects for Eastern Cape to justify the transfer. The e-mail suggests transfer of funds to SHRA was at the request of Mr Gaster Sharpley.”
There are three memos that sshow Sharpley approved the deals on the basis of 16 approved Eastern Cape projects, but the money never came back from SHRA and he remained silent about how the money was diverted to Durban and Mafikeng.
Sicwetsha said: “Reporting between ECDHS and SHRA on performance of these projects and expenditure did take place according to the PFMA (Public Finance Management Act).”
But in a letter dated May 28 2013 to National Treasury, Eastern Cape head of provincial treasury Marion Mbina-Mthembu raised questions about duplication in the funding of social housing projects.
In a separate document, red flags about the way the Eastern Cape money was reshuffled were raised:
On November 11 2011 R148-million of Eastern Cape social housing money was paid to SHRA. Despite no accounting for how this was spent, SHRA demanded another R150-million from Sharpley and his officials, which was paid.
In March 2013, a final tranche of R43-million was paid by ECDHS to SHRA for a total of R341-million.
On November 15 2011, four days after the first payment to SHRA, R40-million was paid to Moko and on February 3 2012, another R40-million was also paid from SHRA to Moko in Durban.
On December 19 2012, R45-million was paid by SHRA to Marang in the Mafikeng. Two months later another R30-million of Eastern Cape money was paid by SHRA to Marang, according to a paper trail seen by the Dispatch.
In March 2013 SHRA paid a further R10-million to Marang, making the total payments to the two companies R165-million out of the R341-million paid by ECDHS to SHRA.
Spokesman for the national department of human settlements, Ndivhuwo Mabaya, said: “The minister (Lindiwe Sisulu) is currently investigating some of these allegations.”

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