NUM media statement on the alleged stolen funds meant to address the scourge of COVID-19 in the country

 The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is aligning itself with the assertion made by the Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa Thabo Makgoba saying that politicians who make money out of a coronavirus pandemic amount to an act of genocide.

Our members who come from poor communities that work in mining, energy, and construction are amongst the most hit by this pandemic due to lack of resources. The stolen monies have contributed indirectly to the death of those who such funds needed to help.

 The NUM also acknowledges that corruption is a political problem, therefore it needs a political solution hence we supported the President Cyril Ramaphosa’s letter to the African National Congress members to vacate offices if they face corruption charges. They must not wait for legal processes to be exhausted.

 The NUM has observed with contempt and disappointment the recent events of corruption in various provinces of our country where millions of rands allocated for Covid19 have been looted by politicians through their dirty looting networks of family and friends.

The NUM condemns these developments and believes that as a trade union we cannot be reduced to being voting fodders when elections are at hand.

 “As a trade union, we must also guard against corruption in all sectors of our government. It is so bad that millions of rands are being allocated to tackle the scourge of COVID-19 but others arrogantly found that as an opportunity to enrich themselves, that is totally unacceptable”, said NUM President Joseph Montisetse.

 As we throw condemnation stones we must be sure that we do not live in a glasshouse. However, this unethical business practices must be condemned as it has affected the vulnerable people who needed the COVID-19 funds to preserve lives and livelihood.

 We call on comrades in the ruling party, the African National Congress, who stand against the looting frenzy to come out in condemnation of the feeding frenzy because silence is complicity to the crime. Silence by good people of our country sends a wrong message that it is the entire African National Congress that is corrupt while as workers we know that this is not the case.

 We also note that this looting culture, besides stifling service delivery to our people, has shifted our struggle for economic freedom and real emancipation towards a struggle against corruption. Such a shift inevitably betrays the National Democratic Revolution.

 As workers, we should be worried about the future of our children if corruption becomes a defining feature of the South African political landscape in which criminals and tenderpreneurial parasites with family webs can make money and huge profits without any real ownership and investment in productive assets and operations.

 This means that the opportunity for decent jobs for many South Africans is betrayed by the national struggle. In this regard, as workers, we call for a blacklisting of all those tenderpreneurs found guilty of corrupt activities.

 By black-listing these elements, we will prevent them from making any business transactions with the state in the future. These deeds must also be conceptualized and deemed as acts of counter-revolution devouring our revolution.

 The names and information about the culprits must be posted on websites of procurement departments of state institutions. Such black-lists should also be made accessible to the public to prevent implicated individuals and companies from indulging in business transactions with the government.

 The African National Congress must remove anyone found guilty of corruption from political office and deployment lists. We call on the African National Congress to stop selective prosecution in which officials of the state are hounded for irregularities while the political executive responsible for affected departments or entities are exonerated. The African National Congress must consider holding any political executive liable for maleficence in their offices and be forced to resign.

 As workers, we should find ways to call on the African National Congress to stop family members of deployees from being involved in business with the government. It is a sacrifice those availing themselves for deployment should make. This will contribute positively in preventing activities of corruption through family networks.

 Finally, the NUM calls on all its members and their families to report any form of corruption within the civil service starting from the wards to the national offices. They should do this without any fear to save our revolution from imploding under the weight of corruption.

 If we do not stand firm in correcting the African National Congress it will lose the coming elections and we will find it difficult to mobilise people because we were silent when wrong things happened.

 There should be continuous lifestyle audit but it should not be limited only to politicians, it must include those who are participants in the procurement processes.

For more information, please contact:

Joseph Montisetse, NUM President, 082 809 2391

Livhuwani Mammburu, NUM National Spokesperson, 083 809 3257

Luphert Chilwane, NUM Media Officer: 083 809 3255