Sunday, May 8, 2011

Limpopo Mayor - Taxi For Tender Row


 The wife of a prominent Limpopo mayor received a brand new minibus taxi worth almost R300 000 .00 from a company that was awarded a multimillion-rand tender by her husband’s municipality.

Capricorn district municipality mayor, Lawrence Mapoulo, and his wife Dedenkie are embroiled in a taxi-for-tender row after businessman Malope Mogashoa bought Dedenkie a Toyota 
Quantum minibus.

 Lawrence Mapoulo

The minibus was registered in the name of Valobex 93, a close corporation of which Dedenkie Mapoulo is the only member, as at February 11.

Three months earlier, Mogashoa’s Malo-Thabi Civil Construction (Pty) Ltd was awarded a R6m tender for sewerage-pipe installation by the Capricorn municipality.

Lawrence Mapoulo is known to be a staunch supporter of President Jacob Zuma, and is a political ally of both Limpopo Premier Cassel Mathale and ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema.


Mapoulo last week confirmed that his wife received a taxi, but denied that it was a kickback to reward him for giving Mogashoa a tender.

He said his wife was an "“independent businesswoman by right", and had an ongoing business relationship with Mogashoa even before he became mayor.

Mogashoa also says he bought the taxi for Dedenkie Mapoulo because she was his business partner in a company, the name of which he refused to provide.

"I have known Dedenkie for a long time. She is a sub-contractor of another project of mine. She is a partner in the business and if she says: 'Of the money we have made, let us buy a taxi' there is no problem," said Mogashoa.

Neither Mogashoa nor the Mapoulos were willing to provide more details of the "project" Dedenkie Mapoulo was working on for which she was supposedly given the minibus.
An independent search by City Press showed that Mogashoa and Dedenkie Mapoulo were business partners in a company called Limpopo Road Repairs, but that Mapoulo resigned as a director in January last year – long before the water-reticulation tender was awarded. 

The lid is lifted on another toilet saga

May 7, 2011

ANC-run local municipality has left loos open since 2003 

 OUT IN THE OPEN: A toilet installed in 2004 and left unenclosed in Rammulotsi, outside Viljoenskroon in the Free State

For months, the ANC kicked up a stink over open toilets in the Western Cape - now it appears the ruling party has its own share of shame in this department. 

It has emerged that 1600 toilets, some built as far back as 2003, in parts of the ANC-run Moqhaka local municipality in the Free State have been left uncovered for years. 

Some of the toilets in Rammulotsi, outside Viljoenskroon, are in a state of disrepair. Many have cracked, while pipes have also vanished. 

This situation mirrors the widely publicised toilet saga in Makhaza, Khayelitsha, in the DA-run city of Cape Town. 

On Friday, several toilets in Metampelo section, built in 2004, still stood unenclosed. Many had makeshift covers ranging from rusty corrugated iron sheets to pieces of plastic sheets.

Resident Nomsa Kantweni said she had never used the toilet outside her home. Since it was built in 2004, it stands like an ornament next to the enclosed pit toilet the family use. 

"We have small children. These pit toilets are just not safe to use at all," said Kantweni. "This is not right. We really don't deserve to live like this." 

She said she and two of her immediate neighbours could not afford to enclose their toilets and always assumed that the council would at some stage complete the project. 

Moqhaka municipality's executive mayor, Mantebu Mokgosi, refused to comment and referred questions to acting technical services manager Mike Lelaka. 

Mantebu Mokgosi

Lelaka said the council took a resolution late last year to provide cover for all toilets left unenclosed since 2003. 

"Our audit indicated that there were 1620 toilets which were left unattended to, the so-called open toilets." 

Lelaka said the council had since covered 378 toilets, while another phase of the project would result in a further 200 being covered shortly. 

He said while it would cost the council more than R8-million, it had only R4.2-million available at present. 

R 8-million to enclose toilets??? 
"Everything is dependent on funding, but we have approached the departments of water affairs and human settlements. We are still awaiting a response from them." 

In another part of Metampelo section, opposite Mokgosi's house, cement was still drying on the newly built walls around two toilets on Friday. 

Lelaka said those had been recently done as part of the council's second phase in the project.
Resident Maria Mafabatho has tried to cover her toilet using rusted metal sheets as a basic "wall" and a corrugated-iron sheet as a roof. 

She said she still needed bricks and rocks to secure the "roof" in bad weather, because she feared it could tumble over at any time. 

"I tried my best to cover my toilet because I realised that nobody was coming back to complete it," she said. 

Lelaka claims that there was an agreement with residents that the municipality would provide only sanitation and residents would put up the enclosures. 

The Sunday Times has established that a complaint has been laid with the Human Rights Commission over this matter. 

The commission's spokesman, Vincent Moaga, said: "At this stage, the commission is still investigating the matter." 

ANC national spokesman Jackson Mthembu said the party was "not aware" of the existence of open toilets in Rammulotsi. 

"Do you want to tell me that it's the same situation like the one caused by the DA in Makhaza?" he asked. "Whatever the circumstance, it's unacceptable. We will investigate, and whoever is responsible will have to answer. We cannot allow our people to be disrespected like that. 

It's even worse if that's being done by an ANC municipality." 

The High Court in Cape Town last week ordered the city of Cape Town to enclose all open toilets at Makhaza in Khayelitsha, after the ANC Youth League sued on behalf of the 1300 residents who were saddled with the toilets. 

The city was accused of undermining the residents' basic right to dignity by not enclosing the toilets. 

Champagne and Sushi

May 7, 2011

The ANC is seducing voters in Johannesburg's northern suburbs by throwing pool parties and treating them to high tea and sushi platters - and a private viewing of designer Malcolm Kluk's winter collection. 

Malcolm Kluk

While Julius Malema and Helen Zille are firing up crowds in mainly poverty-stricken South Africa, the "comrade women" are adding a dash of elegance to the campaign trail ahead of the local government elections. 

"In Soweto, you will have a mass meeting in Thokoza Park. Here you can have high tea at the bowling club or a cocktail function at the Park Hyatt," said Joyce Dube, the ANC candidate in ward 74, which includes one of the country's most affluent suburbs, Melrose, in northern Johannesburg.

Joyce Dube
Dube, whose mother, Elizabeth Motloung, used to work in Melrose as a maid, is gearing up for her first shot at public office . 

She said her well-heeled neighbours included former cabinet minister Essop Pahad and businessman Ndaba Ntsele of mining and investment company Pamodzi Holdings. 

                                                              Essop Goolam Pahad

Racist anti-White policies of the South African ANC govt. 

"Don't pee on my leg and tell me its raining" well the same can be said for the blacks " They mustn't have 10 kids and tell me they are poor"

Ndaba Ntsele

Dube kicked off her campaign with a gathering at a trendy Norwood restaurant last week to address some of the country's black diamonds. She roped in tycoon Sello Rasethaba as a guest speaker. 

Sello Rasethaba

"We served sushi, but I promise it was on a platter, not on anyone's body," said Dube, a media and marketing specialist. 

She said she also threw a pool party at her home, adding that her ward was made up of "old and new money" . 

Fellow candidate Slauzy Mogami agrees on the need for a fresh approach to electioneering.
A wealthy businesswoman, Mogami said: "We realised that it cannot be business as usual. We had to look for creative ways of campaigning." 

Slauzy Mogami

In ward 90, which covers the ultra-expensive suburbs of Hyde Park, Sandhurst and Dunkeld, Mogami kicked off with a cocktail function for businesswomen at her home in Sandhurst. 

"I realised that people no longer love red wine as they used to. These days it's champagne.

On Tuesday, she hosted the Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan, as a speaker at a breakfast. She served a spread of salmon rolls, fruit kebabs and a hot buffet to about 50 guests at her home. 

Pravin Gordhan

Her neighbours include Airports Company of SA boss Monhla Hlahla and MTN CEO Sifiso Dabengwa . 

Airports Company of SA boss Monhla Hlahla
MTN CEO Sifiso Dabengwa

Today, she is scheduled to trek to nearby George Lea Park to host a Mother's Day picnic for domestic workers in the area. 

Socialite and business executive Judi Nwokedi is another who hopes to win over voters in her area, known as "The Parks". 

Judi Nwokedi

She has already treated domestic workers to a braai at Zoo Lake and hosted a dinner at swanky Bellagio on Friday night. 

Nwokedi's ward, which includes the suburbs of Parkwood, Parkhurst and Saxonwold (home to the wealthy Gupta family), also arranged a private viewing of designer Malcolm Kluk's winter range on Friday night- with 10% of sales going towards her campaign. 

Today, she is hosting a morning of "coffee and croissants" in Parkhurst, where, among others, Tselane Tambo is expected to attend. 

Tselane Tambo

On Thursday night, the ANC's candidate in ward 73, Nomaswazi Mohlala, mingled with guests at businessman Khehla Mthembu's mansion in Orchards. 

Nomaswazi Mohlal

Mohlala drew about two dozen residents and had her niece, the Deputy Minister of Public Service and Administration, Ayanda Dlodlo, as a guest speaker. 

Deputy Minister of Public Service and Administration, Ayanda Dlodlo

Part of the evening was dedicated to raising funds to set up an ANC ward office in the area. 

Ward 73 includes the suburbs of Houghton, Killarney, Norwood and Oaklands, and boasts among its residents former presidents Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki

Joe Makhafola, Altech's group executive of corporate affairs and government liaison, signed a cheque for R50000. 

Joe Makhafola

Said an impressed guest Malusi Kekana: "Our branches meet at schools in Mawhwelereng. This is advanced." 

Roux Shabangu

 Roux Shabangu

Controversial billionaire Roux Shabangu went from being a mealie meal salesman to one of the country's youngest property moguls. 

The 36-year-old, who has been hogging the headlines over a R500-million government rental deal, says it all started the day he changed his name. 

His father, Johannes "JB" Shabangu, told his children they would inherit property when he died - with the exception of the son called Ngwane. Instead, the boy was asked to change his name to Roux, which he did while he was in matric. And Johannes, who didn't explain why he wanted the change, told his son it would make him millions one day.
Today, Shabangu jnr owns a string of shopping malls worth billions of rands. 

The businessman who stands to make a fortune from controversial leasing deals with the police is himself the target of a police investigation into millions of rands that went missing from the Land Bank.

Roux Shabangu, the owner of Roux Property Fund, has been implicated in a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) forensic audit in connection with R10-million "irregularly" paid to him from the bank's contentious AgriBEE fund. The Hawks are investigating money paid to him and others from the Land Bank for projects for which there are few or no records.

The department denies that Shabangu had a mandate at any stage to buy land for the government.

Yet it is the furore following his landing of the R500-million contract last year for the lease of an 18-storey office block in Pretoria's CBD to the South African Police Service that he is probably best known for.
The deal is the subject of two investigations, one by the public protector, and the second as part of a broader probe by the Special Investigating Unit into irregular government leases. 

He revealed he was once a light-heavyweight boxer, with Dingaan Thobela - the "Rose of Soweto" - a regular sparring partner in the '90s.

"Boxing taught me discipline, honesty and to be sharp on your feet," said the father of five. 

Now the former fighter runs Roux Property Development Africa from plush offices in Irene, Pretoria.
His weekend retreat is a 28-bedroom house in Mpumalanga, worth about R20-million.
The house, on a 1200ha farm, boasts an Olympic-sized swimming pool, a lapa that can accommodate 100 people and garages for 12 vehicles.
Shabangu said the fact that he had never been knocked out in his 21 fights had helped to make him a shrewd businessman.
Boxing also gave him a ticket to the world of business. "I wanted to raise money, and boxing was the quickest way to do it without stealing from anyone," he said.
Shabangu grew up in rural Dennilton, in Mpumalanga, but having 20 siblings meant he was forced to earn his keep. 

His father, who had children by five wives, gave each child a plot of land to cultivate while they were still in school in an attempt to teach them to become independent. 

After matriculating in 1993, Shabangu stayed at the YMCA in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, while training with Thobela's manager and trainer, Norman Hlabane. 

His first business venture was a mealie meal distribution outlet in Kwaggafontein. 

When he was 22, the monthly turnover from his mealie meal business was R4-million, which included a net profit of between R1.2- and R1.4-million. 

"To be honest, I made a fortune selling mealie meal." 

Armed with cash, he started snapping up land for development, and soon built his first shopping mall, Matsamo Plaza in Mpumalanga, for R40-million. 

He has built 10 other shopping malls, including the R320-million Jabulani Mall in Soweto and the R300-million Tsakane Mall near Brakpan. 

Other malls under construction include:
  • The R110-million Modjadji Mall in Limpopo; and
  • The R1.5-billion Mbabane City Mall in Swaziland, which will also boast a casino and hotel.
Shabangu's portfolio includes three office blocks in Pretoria and Durban, and several mining interests, including a share in a diamond mine in Swaziland. 

A staunch Jehovah's Witness, I DOUBT THAT........WITH 5 WIVES!!!!  Shabangu has plans to build a training centre for welders and boilermakers in President Jacob Zuma's village, Nkandla, saying it was a token of appreciation "for having a leader like Zuma, who was able to unite the nation". 

Admitting that he knew Zuma well, Shabangu was reluctant to elaborate on this friendship, simply saying: "But this has nothing to do with Zuma. I am not going to go into that. 

"I am not going to deny that I am politically connected, because one day you are going to see me at a function with ministers." 

But Shabangu vehemently denied signing the R500-million lease with the police commissioner, General Bheki Cele.
"I will pay a million rand to anyone if they can prove that I signed a lease with Bheki Cele."

How Cele drove the deal with Roux Shabangu 

September 30 : Cele issues a directive that he must approve any procurements over R500000.

March 23 2010: He repeats the directive. 

March 24 : Police procurement head Lt-Gen Hamilton Hlela says Cele ordered him in a Boksburg parking lot to move the police top brass to a new building in Pretoria, and to expect a call from the owner. Roux Shabangu calls Hlela to arrange an appointment. 

March 26 : Shabangu takes Hlela for a site inspection of Sanlam Middestad, presenting himself as the owner. No public works officials are present. Later, Lt-Gen Bonang Mgwenya and Lt-Gen Julius Molefe - officials in Cele's office - inform Hlela that Cele wants police units moved to Shabangu's building immediately. 

March 31 : Shabangu gives a presentation to police supply chain managers. Further meetings and a site inspection follow on April 1 and 9. No public works officials are present. 

April 22 : Shabangu writes a letter to the SAPS, confirming two floors of Sanlam Middestad will be made available immediately if Roux Properties receives written confirmation that SAPS will lease the whole building for 10 years. 

May 3: Police supply-chain management boss Lt-Gen Matthews Siwundla informs public works that Cele wants police units and top brass in Sanlam Middestad - the first time police have approached public works about the matter. 

May 10: Cele approves and signs a memo authorising funds for Sanlam Middestad. A needs assessment for the whole building is attached. 

May 14: Hlela and two generals meet public works acting director-general Sam Vukela. Hlela hands Vukela a letter confirming Cele urgently wants office space in Shabangu's building for the World Cup in June. Vukela signs a note agreeing the need is urgent, so no tender is needed. 

June 4: Public works sends Shabangu an approval letter to lease his building for 10 years at R2.7-million a month. 

June 11: Start of World Cup. 

July 5: Shabangu does a presentation on his building to Cele. An extra 20% of space worth R500 000/month is agreed. No public works officials are present. 

July 6: Shabangu buys the building for R220-million. 

July 11: World Cup ends. No one has moved into the building. 

July 13: Shabangu submits a signed lease to public works with handwritten amendments reflecting the inflated rentals. 

July 20: Public works official signs Shabangu's lease. 

July 22: Another official writes to Shabangu to rectify the inflated rentals. 

July 26: SAPS sends public works its revised needs assessment reflecting the inflated rentals, signed by Cele. Public works writes a letter to funders, stating all procurement processes were complied with. 

August 1: Sunday Times reporters Mzilikazi wa Afrika and Stephan Hofstatter expose the shady deal. 

August 2: A complaint against Cele is laid with the public protector. 

August 3: Cele calls a press conference and insists he did not clinch a deal with Shabangu but merely signed a needs assessment that public works used to procure the building. 

August 4: Wa Afrika is arrested without a warrant at Avusa headquarters in Rosebank, Johannesburg, for what police claim is a fraudulent letter of resignation from Mpumalanga premier David Mabuza to President Jacob Zuma. Wa Afrika's house is searched without any search warrant and his computer, notebooks, files and a cellphone are seized. 

August 5: The Public Protector launches an investigation into the deal, joined later by the Special Investigating Unit. 

August 5: Prosecutor says there is insufficient evidence to prosecute. 

August 6: After Wa Afrika spends a night being interrogated by police in Mpumalanga, the Sunday Times brings an urgent application in the Pretoria High Court. Judge Johan Kruger orders his release with these words: ''One minute spent in custody is one minute too much." 

August 16: Public works minister Geoff Doidge suspends the lease, based on a damning legal opinion by Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr. 

September 7: The National Prosecuting Authority provisionally withdraws the charges against Wa Afrika. 

October 31: President Jacob Zuma fires Doidge, replacing him with Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde. 

November 22: Public works receives a second legal opinion, by senior counsel Pat Ellis, which says the lease is unlawful. Public works tells funders the lease will be honoured. 

December 7: Mahlangu-Nkabinde reinstates the lease. Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa says Cele has been "vindicated". 

January 21 2011: Sanlam Middestad is registered in the name of Roux Property Fund. In a written submission, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan tells the public protector the lease must be reviewed, and this could include initiating "criminal prosecution". He stresses the lease should not have been signed with Shabangu before he had actually bought the building. 

February 22: Public Protector Thuli Madonsela releases her report which finds Cele guilty of maladministration as well as "improper and unlawful" conduct. 

February 24: Cele calls another press conference and tries to pass the buck, blaming public works and his former deputy, Hlela, who was a key witness in the public protector's and SIU investigation. 


Police building deal back on track

May 7, 2011

The public protector has stepped in to urgently block another shady police lease deal involving controversial businessman Roux Shabangu - this time worth R1-billion. 

Roux Shabangu in his helicopter flying to his farm in Mpumalanga 
This week, Shabangu, the man at the centre of the dodgy R500-million police lease scandal exposed by the Sunday Times last year, emerged as the frontrunner to win the tender for a new provincial police headquarters in Durban. 

Minister of Public Works Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde has yet to explain her decision to reinstate Shabangu's R500-million lease with the SA Police Service (SAPS) in Pretoria - after two legal opinions declared it unlawful and a damning report by public protector Thuli Madonsela called for it to be halted. 

A previous bid to award the deal in Durban to Shabangu without going out to tender was halted after the Sunday Times exposed it last year. 

That deal, which would entail moving the provincial police brass to the Transnet building that Shabangu was negotiating to buy, is still being scrutinised by Madonsela and the Special Investigating Unit. 

The Transnet building was subsequently sold to someone else for R15.8-million - equivalent to three months' rent if the earlier deal had gone through, at a cost to taxpayers of over R700-million. 

But, in April this year, months before Madonsela was due to complete her current investigation, the Department of Public Works put the same deal out to tender again. 

Bid documents and internal correspondence seen by the Sunday Times show the new tender specifications contain the same needs assessment used to justify the scrapped Transnet building deal. 

Madonsela became aware that public works had issued a new tender only after the Sunday Times asked if the department had got her blessing. 

"No. The public protector was surprised to learn that tenders are already (being) considered by the department," her spokesman, Kgalalelo Masibi, said. 

The fact that the same much-criticised needs assessment was being used to justify the new tender meant it had to be "held in abeyance", she said. 

"The public protector will urgently approach the minister of public works in this regard." 

The two processes were "directly linked" and the public protector's yet-to-be-finalised report on the scrapped Durban lease could affect the tender process, she said. 

Attendees at a bid meeting in Durban this week said the new R1-billion tender appeared to have been tailored to ensure Shabangu won. 

It calls for a 45499m² building with 451 parking bays - three times the size of the current SAPS Durban headquarters, Servamus Building in Bram Fischer Road. 

Property industry insiders said Shabangu recently paid a R2-million deposit to secure the 46000m² Redefine Towers at 320 Dr Pixley Kaseme Street (formerly West Street). "(It) seems they wrote the tender for the building," said one insider close to the bid process. 

Redefine confirmed it was negotiating the sale of Redefine Towers, but declined to divulge any details. "We deem that information confidential," Redefine's chief operating officer, David Rice, said. 

Redefine Towers has limited parking, but Shabangu recently applied to take over the council lease for Pine Parkade next door, which would make up the shortfall. 

Municipal officials confirmed that Shabangu had applied for the parkade lease and that the request had been conveyed directly from city manager Mike Sutcliffe. 

Sutcliffe said there was "nothing unusual" about Shabangu approaching him directly. "I think that his company has either bought or is buying 320 West (Redefine Towers)," said Sutcliffe. "I said, 'No problem, let me give it to the real estate department.'" 

Of six bids that were opened in front of the bidders at the public works office in Durban on Wednesday, officials raised concerns about all but Shabangu's. 

Some bidders were told their bids lacked certain certificates, according to three people who attended the meeting, but did not want to be named. One bidder was reprimanded for using Tippex. 

"Shabangu sat in the front row in a white and blue striped shirt," said one. "His bid was opened first. Nobody had the correct certificates except Roux Properties." 

This was confirmed by another bidder: "We were de-facto disqualified." 

Bidders were told they'd be informed within two weeks if their bids were going to the national bid adjudication committee in Pretoria, which will make the final decision. 

Those who attended said Shabangu's was the highest bid, at R127/m², although this could not be confirmed. Even R100 to R110/m² with an annual escalation of 8% to 10% - proposed by police procurement bosses last year - would bring the bill to between R879-million and R966-million, excluding relocation costs. 

Police are paying R65/m² for their provincial headquarters at Servamus. Swish Properties, the company that owns Servamus, declined to comment. 

Documents seen by the Sunday Times show police commissioner General Bheki Cele approved the need and funding for a massive threefold increase in provincial head office space - despite objections by senior public works and police officials. 

A particular concern was placing child protection, sexual offences and family violence units - including counselling and treatment rooms - at head office. 

The SA Police Union (Sapu), which claims 70000 members, said there was no justification for the tender. "There's nothing wrong with the current building - it's not even overcrowded," said Sapu general secretary Oscar Skommer. 

He was outraged at plans to put child protection units at head office. "Those units must be at station level. Who is going to help these people when they go to the police station to open a case?" 

But police spokesman McIntosh Polela said the SAPS was "on record" that it would "not move forward" on the new Durban lease until the public protector's investigation into the old one was complete. "The SAPS was invited by public works to confirm whether its needs were still as before, and this it did." 

Polela denied communities would lose essential services, as only unit managers would be housed at head office. "This does not mean that the services will be removed from (the) stations. The units will continue to serve the communities." 

Shabangu asked for questions in writing, then declined to answer them "until such time as (the tender process) has been completed", his lawyer, Francois Botha, said. 


Zuma Plot

May 7, 2011 

 Zuma 'took plot report seriously

ANC attempts to rubbish fears belied by leader's own warnings 

President Jacob Zuma's fear of being ousted from power at a crucial ANC gathering late last year resulted in him pulling out of an important United Nations meeting. 

The Sunday Times has also established that, despite a recent ANC attempt to rubbish an intelligence report alleging a plot to remove Zuma from power, the president took it so seriously that he told a meeting of the party's national executive committee in September that he was aware that some of its members were planning to get rid of him. 

Four NEC members who attended the meeting at Gallagher Estate, Midrand - where the party was making final preparations ahead of its national general council, also in September - said the meeting was stunned when Zuma made startling claims of a plot against him while delivering the opening speech to the gathering. 
The NEC meeting took place just weeks after crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli had sent a "top secret" report to Zuma alleging that the Minister of Human Settlements, Tokyo Sexwale, KwaZulu-Natal premier Zweli Mkhize and other high-ranking ANC NEC members wanted to oust him.

Tokyo - No Plot Against Zuma 

The report said they had held a meeting in Estcourt, in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, in January last year to plot against the president.

Sexwale Would Consider Nomination

"I know it's juicy for me to say, 'If I'm nominated ...' Let that come, and I'll say, 'What are the circumstances? Why? Who's doing this, for what purpose, and so on. Who am I competing against? Is Jacob Zuma still available?' If he is not available ... if this president decides, 'I'm not available,' I can seriously consider this thing."
The report became public recently after Mdluli's arrest on charges of murder and kidnapping.
Mdluli has claimed that his arrest was instigated by senior police officers who were, he alleged, working closely with politicians seeking to oust Zuma. 
Sexwale, Mkhize and other ANC leaders mentioned in the report have denied being part of a "plot", and the ANC dismissed the report as an attempt to portray "an ANC that is at war with itself".
But other NEC members told the Sunday Times that Zuma's behaviour during the period leading up to the NGC gathering suggested that he believed Mdluli's report. 
Zuma cancelled a planned trip to the US, where he was scheduled to address the UN General Assembly, and opted to attend the ANC gathering instead.
He sent senior government officials to represent him at the UN.
Party insiders said Zuma feared that his opponents would use his absence from the NGC to oust him.
Zuma's spokesman, Zizi Kodwa, said the president had decided against the UN meeting because "we can't consider organisational issues (as) less (important) than anything else".
He said the NGC was "the biggest political school of the ANC" and the president had to attend it.
At the NEC meeting ahead of the NGC, Zuma sparked a heated debate when he told party leaders of the plot.
"The president spoke about the plot in his political overview. We debated and assured him that there was no plot, but, at the end of the meeting, the president spoke about the threat again," said an NEC member who attended the meeting.
Another NEC member said Zuma made the claim despite earlier assurances from party provincial chairmen that they were holding regular meetings to ensure that no one embarrassed him and other leaders at the NGC.
According to the NEC member, one provincial chairman - who is also a premier - stood up to tell Zuma that the party could not be held to ransom by leaders who "lacked self-confidence".
Some NEC members believe that the president's remarks were influenced by the Mdluli report.

But, according to one NEC member and cabinet minister close to Zuma, the president's remarks had nothing to do with the report.
"The president was dealing with the issue of ill-discipline in the organisation in all its manifestations," said the minister. "He was saying, 'If you talk about leadership, it must be an open thing.'
"It's an unfortunate coincidence that this would (be linked to the alleged plot).
"It was like saying, 'There are all these things in the papers about what should happen in 2012. It must come from somewhere. It means that there are people talking behind (others') backs."'
Zuma's office refused to answer questions relating to the president's remarks at the NEC meeting, referring inquiries to Luthuli House.
ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu said: "ANC meetings are ANC meetings. I am not aware of such utterances from the president." 
While other party leaders have denounced the report as false, former National Intelligence Agency boss Billy Masetlha has become the first NEC member to openly say the allegations about the plot were real.
He told the Sunday Times that "no member of the NEC" could claim to not know that there was an ongoing campaign to oust Zuma from power at the party's national conference in December next year.
"There is serious campaigning, even on the ground, about changing the leadership in 2012. This is now even affecting our campaigning for the local government elections, because our people on the ground tell us about 2012," said Masetlha.


Minister's Wife Jailed But Still Has Her Job

May 8, 2011

'No decision has been made ... she can come to work'

Convicted drug dealer Sheryl Cwele still has her job - despite being sentenced to 12 years behind bars on Friday. 


Cwele, the wife of state security boss Siyabonga Cwele, and her co-accused, Nigerian Frank Nabolisa, 42, were both found guilty of drug dealing just two years after the Sunday Times exposed her role in recruiting drug mules in an international syndicate. 

They were found guilty of recruiting Tessa Beetge and beauty therapist Charmaine Moss - who declined the job - in 2008. 

A series of SMSes and e-mails between Beetge and Cwele, 50, eventually led to this week's dramatic judgment. 

The conviction comes in the wake of Beetge writing a tell-all book in prison. 

Caught red-handed in Sao Paulo with 10kg of raw cocaine in her luggage three years ago, she was sentenced to seven years and nine months in a Brazilian jail . 

Cwele, a mother of four, is the director of health and community services of the Hibiscus Coast municipality on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast. 

She was granted leave to attend her trial in the High Court in Pietermaritzburg. 

When asked whether she would be allowed back at work, given her conviction, the municipality's spokesman, Simon Soboyisa, said: "No decision has been made. For now, she can come to work and we'll take it from there." 

During sentencing, it emerged that Cwele was paid a net salary of R29000 a month and co-owned a R1.2-million home on the South Coast. 

The well-groomed Cwele and Nabolisa have been granted leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein. 

Cwele's bail of R100000 was extended pending the outcome. 

Nabolisa will return to custody, where he has been since his arrest in December 2009. 
In July, he will face other drug-related charges in the Wynberg Magistrates' Court in Johannesburg. 

The minister - who was a no-show during his wife's trial - has maintained a stony silence. 

His spokesman, Brian Dube, said: "He is not in a position (to comment) at this stage. The minister will comment at an appropriate time." 

In his 123-page judgment, Judge Piet Koen described Cwele's defence that she was merely trying to help desperate women as "false". 

In mitigation of sentence, Cwele's attorney, Mvuseni Ngubane, described her as a "learned person" from a stable family. He said the former nurse had been punished enough by the media. 

Said Koen: "Many families are affected by drugs which are brought here illegally. They suffer as a result of dealers, who often initiate addiction by constant supply and thrive on that addiction."
The judge said he had been lenient with the sentence - which carries a minimum of 15 years' imprisonment - because Cwele and Nabolisa were first-time offenders . 

After sentencing, Cwele and her family formed a prayer circle outside the courtroom.
Smartly dressed in a knee-length black-and-white shift dress, Cwele said: "I have nothing to say." 

Beetge's parents, Marie and Gert Swanepoel, welcomed the sentence, saying it was the "best birthday present" for their daughter, who turns 34 tomorrow. 

Her fathersaid he was helping Tessa document the trial for her book, in which she will reveal how she was recruited and tell of her life behind bars.