2014 riddled with scandals: Daily Dispatch

Top SA politicians braced for more drama in 2015

THE year 2014 has been quite an eventful year for South Africa – both socially and politically.

It has been a year characterised by the good, the bad and the “revolutionary”.The ruling party has seen the year as one of success and victory while on the other side opposition parties seem to differ.

While delivering a speech in Pretoria in October, President Jacob Zuma praised government for a historic year in the socio-economic and political journey of South Africa’s young democracy.

“This victory was gained through the struggles of the South African people and freedom loving people across Africa and the world,” Zuma said.

“We remain grateful to all countries and peoples that stood on the side of justice, freedom, human rights and equality during those dark days of apartheid colonialism.”

However, the Democratic Alliance (DA) were less than favourable of the president with its cabinet report card. They scored Zuma’s performance a meagre one out of 10 while the cabinet scored an overall 4 out of 10.

The Buffalo City Metro made national headlines this year after a Daily Dispatch investigation uncovered irregularities in the spending of almost R6-million during Nelson Mandela’s funeral last year.

Several politicians and municipal officials, including the executive mayor, her deputy and speaker, were arrested and charged with fraud. More revelations are expected when the case resumes in 2015.

The Bhisho Legislature has not been without its controversies either.

Provincial DA leader Athol Trollip was in hot water after the ethics committee found him guilty of bringing the institution into disrepute.

He was ordered to apologise for implying premier Phumulo Masualle was a “liar and cheat”. This was after Trollip had submitted a question to the legislature regarding the Mandela funding scandal, which was edited.

The ethics committee fined Trollip a month’s salary for his comments and he was suspended from the legislature for 14 days.

He returned to the legislature after challenging the fine and reaching an out-of-court agreement.

The legislature has also been rocked by allegations of nepotism and senior managers demanding sexual favours in exchange for jobs.

The sex-for-jobs scandal, exposed by the Daily Dispatch earlier this year, has now prompted Masualle to approach the Special Investigative Unit for further investigation.

After the 2014 national general elections, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) changed the outlook of the National Assembly.

The party’s antics in parliament made the EFF one of the country’s newsmakers of the year.

One such incident was when EFF MPs chanted during Zuma’s question time in parliament, demanding that he “pay back the money” in reference to his Nkandla homestead.

The MPs were suspended, a decision the EFF has vowed to challenge. The EFF has had its own share of storms. Recently the party convened its National People’s Assembly, where Eastern Cape-born advocate Dali Mpofu was elected national chairman.

The assembly ended in controversy when disgruntled members chanted anti-Malema songs and expressed dissatisfaction over the additional members candidate list.

Now the ANC has showed interest in “welcoming back” any disgruntled EFF members.

ANC spokesman Zizi Kodwa said the party was gearing itself to welcome the EFF members. — siphem@dispatch.co.za