ANC CIT heist suspect also linked with R97m ‘farms for friends’ scandal

ANC CIT heist suspect also linked with R97m ‘farms for friends’ scandal

- The ANC employee based at Luthuli House who is a suspect in a cash-in-transit heist has been identified as Errol Velile Present. The ANC has confirmed that his employment has been terminated

- Company and police records have now emerged which link Present with a R97 million ‘farms for friends’ scandal which also involved Gugile Nkwinti the former minister of land reform and rural development

- The ANC is believed to have ignored a recommendation by its auditing firm to charge Present with corruption

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The African National Congress (ANC) employee based at the party’s Luthuli House headquarters who is a suspect in a Dobsonville, Soweto cash-in-transit (CIT) heist has been identified as Errol Velile Present and now to add insult to injury Present has been linked with other illicit dealings.

According to a report by thesouthafrican.com company and police records have emerged which link Present to a R97 million ‘farms for friends’ scandal which also involved the former minister of land reform and rural development Gugile Nkwinti.

READ ALSO: Khoisan King tells Ramaphosa the Cape seceded from South Africa on Monday

Present was allegedly introduced to an unnamed top official at the department of rural affairs by Nkwinti during a land summit in 2017.

Briefly.co.za gathered that eight months after the land summit, Present was the proud new owner of a Limpopo farm which had been purchased for R97 million.

Present had at that time been working at Luthuli House for 10 years and the purchase raised serious suspicions about how he could afford such an extravagant purchase.

News24.com reported that officials at the department of land bypassed or circumvented required and critical procedures during the purchase and the transfer of the farm to Present.

Nkwinti denied any wrongdoing at the time but a forensic investigation by Deloitte uncovered details around the dodgy deal. The auditing firm is believed to have recommended that Present should be charged for possible corruption.

The ANC has never acted on that instruction or made the Deloitte report public in much the same way that the party waited until after Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba claimed an ANC employee had been arrested in connection with a CIT heist before confirming the news.

Earlier, Briefly.co.za reported that the ANC had confirmed that one of its employees had been arrested and appeared in court for allegedly taking part in a ‘serious’ crime. This was after Mashaba made the revelation.

The ANC later confirmed not only the identity of the employee as Errol Present but also confirmed that his employment had been terminated.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) released its own statement which confirmed the identity of Present and the three other suspects in the Dobsonville CIT. The other suspects are Zakhele Zondi, Itumeleng Manama and Bheki Biyela.

The NPA said all four suspects had only been charged in connection with one CIT heist but it noted that police were still investigating and could not rule out the possibility that the suspects had links to other CIT heists.

Police Minister Bheki Cele said the SAPS would investigate and arrest anyone involved in crimes regardless of who they work for or what position they hold in any political or private organisation.

Cele recently launched a campaign which he hopes will drastically reduce - if not eliminate - the number of violent crimes such as armed robbery and CIT heists. Cele moved more police officers from administrative duties to active duty and embarked on a high-level intelligence operations to help crack down on CIT syndicates.

READ ALSO: SACP breaks ranks with ANC and calls for Ingonyama Trust to fall

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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