Proudly sponsored by

Lost millions and lost memories seem to go hand in hand

Advanced payments scam – another day of questioning and barely any progress in determining how the Free State ‘lost’ R600m intended for low-cost housing.
‘Just a lay person who relied on others’ is how former government minister Mosebenzi Zwane explained his inability to answer questions. Image: Supplied

Former MEC Mosebenzi Zwane again appeared before the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into allegations of state capture on October 12. He first appeared on September 25.

Ace Magashule had been appointed Free State Premier on May 6, 2009. Zwane was MEC of human settlements for the province from 2010 to 2011. As MEC, Zwane was tasked with procuring low-cost housing for poor people for an amount of R1.4 billion.

Zwane, who has been linked to the Guptas and the Vrede Dairy Project scandal, was later appointed minister of mineral resources by former president Jacob Zuma, a position he held from September 2015 to February 2018.

Procurement process for RDP houses

Contractors had been appointed to build RDP (Reconstruction and Development Programme) houses in 2009/2010. Magashule then promised to build larger RDP houses than had previously been built. This led to a dispute with the contractors, as they had determined their expenses on smaller houses.

Read: 12-year wait for housing in Free State (Aug 2012)

That old database of contractors was scrapped, and a new tender process was opened. Essentially, a public procurement tender was invited on April 26, 2010. It collapsed some time before July 28, 2010.

Some 361 contractors submitted bids. However, while the tender was still open, Zwane submitted a list of 106 contractors to Exco for approval on June 30, 2010.

Parallel processes

Evidence leader Paul Pretorius SC summed it up: there were two parallel processes – an open public procurement process where tenderers would be evaluated according to certain criteria, and then a list of contractors based on the discretion of certain individuals.

Pretorius tried to determine how the list of contractors was decided, particularly as the tender was still open.

The Free State bid adjudication committee had decided that various databases should be consolidated to arrive at the list of contractors. However, consolidating the various databases would have resulted in a figure way over 300, let alone the final list of 106.

This final list of 106 included contractors who had not qualified under the open tender process. It also included contractors who had never submitted a bid in the first place.

Pretorius was not able to obtain any clarification from Zwane on how the list of 106 contractors was compiled, but it does raise the possibility of an unlawful procurement process.

Advanced payment system

Zwane suggested in 2010 that the department should “help” the contractors with materials.

He could not explain what he meant by “help”, even when Pretorius explained that this would mean purchasing the materials from the suppliers, which would require the department to fork out money.

Pretorius said the province lost hundreds of millions in a short period of time. Ultimately the department lost R600 million. Pretorius also put it to Zwane that this process was illegal.

Zwane accepted no accountability, nor responsibility, including not ascertaining a proper legal opinion on the legality of the process.

Zwane insists that the advanced payment system is not illegal as long as there is a contract. Pretorius had to remind him that there was no contract.

Zwane’s testimony has been contradicted by three witnesses.

The session had to end before the legality matter was finalised.

Accountability and responsibility

Throughout his testimony, Zwane never gave a yes or no reply. His explanations were long-winded, muddled, and often contradicted previous answers.

Commission chair Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo and evidence leader Pretorius frequently had to request clarification.


  • Zwane: “Chair, I thought I tried to explain this before …”
  • Zondo: “Yes, you may have tried and I did not understand. Please try again.”

Zwane took no responsibility and instead resorted to declaring that he was not a lawyer but a lay person and that he relied on the officials in the department.

Pretorius commented that the manner in which Zwane answered the questions raised even more questions.

Zwane was given “fair warning” by Pretorius that the legality of the advanced payment system will be continued the next time he appears before the commission.




Sort by:
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Top voted

You must be signed in and an Insider Gold subscriber to comment.


take the accumulative effect into account of the anc corruption and the heading can be: “Lost billions and lost memories seem to go hand in hand”

won’t be surprised when zuma’s day come he uses the same unacceptable excuse of “took no responsibility and instead resorted to declaring that he was not a lawyer but a lay person and that he relied on the officials in the department” as mentioned above

The unemployed who are given grants vote for the ANC

The tax payer who carries the burden of the unemployed, a bloated civil servant wage bill , and bailing out Parastatals DO NOT vote ANC

And the ANC talks about inequality all the while they steal from the needy..A human rights violation if you ask me

Instead of raising the country from the depths of despair, they continue stealing unabated, buying luxury cars and houses

The masses need to be politically educated so they may become enlightened

Their comrades are stealing them blind, forcing them to stand at traffic lights begging for money, work and food from:


Ever seen a comrade who steals our money give anything to the less fortunate

The only time they do is when these people clean their multi million rand cars and buff their shoes

The time is nigh ANC, for you to eventually succumb to disintegration, you will disappear into a deep abyss

It’s their go to excuse “It was someone else what done it.”

I actually learned something interesting, but of no practical value, from the Zondo Commission.

If one plans to capture the state, one has to first surround yourself with the most greedy individuals in the nation, but they should also have the lowest mental capacity in the nation. One has to trawl the bottom to find the most-greedy fools in the nation to be able to lure them with promises of easy wealth and to use them as decoys and to throw them under the bus as the fall guy. Those who tried to benefit from state capture and corruption volunteered to be chosen on the grounds of their greed and stupidity.

The Guptas knew their customers. They knew that in order to plunder the state, they have to identify and capture those individuals whose mental capacity barely enables them to pass as human, and then to put them in positions of power. The Guptas knew that the collectivist system tends to concentrate and condense stupid greed from across the nation into a small space, called Luthuli House.

This is the cheapest, completely autonomous drone ever invented. You simply catch it, promise a windfall and give it orders, and it infiltrates and operates by itself. The lack of storage space in the brain restricts what you can learn them though. The bots are operational when they can repeat the words “White monopoly capital” and “radical economic transformation”. The most intelligent drones manage to mention these phrases in one sentence. This is the state capture drone Mark 2. It is truly next-level. The nice thing about the drone is that it self-destructs once it appears before the Zondo Commission. It repeats those difficult phrases a few times before the hard drive malfunctions, the smoke comes out of the ears and nostrils, the eyes wide open in bewilderment, the frown appears on the forehead and then, all the evidence is destroyed.

Gupta is sitting pretty in Dubai, watching on TV how his prized drones destroy themselves when confronted with evidence.

Me thinks we could wiggle our way out of our economic demise by opening a Teflon factory with all these “nothing sticks” politicians and exporting it.

There needs to be some point where answering ‘I don’t know’ should count towards a more serious charge of criminal negligence.

Or at least a delinquency declaration disqualifying him from holding any public position. Zondo should ask him directly what his salary was paid for.

Yes agreed, Mercedesbenzi Zwane needs to be criminally tried. Unfortunately the state will probably not be able to prove beyond any doubt that he was criminally negligent and he will walk. Alternatively he will pull the Stalingrad stunt and cost us, the taxpayer, millions in wasted legal expenses while he ducks and dives.

In ANC official speak: We are saying ‘I don’t know’.

The Zondo commission was the best decision to clear out the corruption.

How can anyone loose R600 Million?

Is it fair that we pay so much Tax when the money gets lost? or not accountable for?

wonderful comedy screwUPs.. amazing… the Chair sits in FRONT of the TRILLION COSTS Commission … he said “YES”…. the culprit as defendant sits nearby in front of the interrogator… the DEFENDANT replies “YES”…. pity the DEFENDANT can’t show show redsin the face…. telling all these “tales of Laries”… & so BLIKSLIM that the interrogator Advocate??… cannot make out anything of all the folders… about these comedies going around&around&around…

End of comments.



Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Moneyweb newsletters

Instrument Details  

You do not have any portfolios, please create one here.
You do not have an alert portfolio, please create one here.

Follow us:

Search Articles:
Click a Company: