The book ‘Journey to Truth’ by Gerda Potgieter published in July 23 apparently rebutting the KwaSizabantu scandal allegations, includes a hard to follow web of allegations and counter allegations between multiple parties. I attempted to extract what is relevant to the 145 million rand unsecured hard cash ‘loan’ made to Ndela, a man who had come to them for drug rehabilitation. In summary, the book explains:
1. The loan was made legitimately by the ministry for humanitarian purposes through expanding their bottled water facility. (The Mission Constitution would require the expenditure to be for humanitarian purposes).
2. The person, Ndela, was trusted despite his drug history because of claimed Christian conversion.
3. KwaSizabantu was scammed. This implies that they failed to get either their hoped expansion or recover the ‘loan’.
4. The claims reported in News24 that the conversion of the money into hard cash was ‘money laundering’, is unproven and smear and there is now counter legal action being made against this claim.
5. The person who exposed this was part of a group who allegedly had wrong motives.
6. An invalid ‘power of attorney’ was used to gain access to the accounts which exposed the missing R145 million.
In a long and detailed book, this is a sparse explanation for this ‘elephant in the room’ of 145 million and doesn’t answer the core issues.
[The legal panel report said they were not reporting the full reasons given for the ‘loan’ because it involved a number of high profile individuals whom they were unable to interview, but they did not find the reasons credible. This is not reported in the book.]
The claims made above, then raise more questions:
1. Why was the money converted into cash before being ‘loaned’?
2. What special skills or capacity did Ndela have to expand the bottled water facility?
3. Did they put the project out to tender? Why was Ndela given the ‘loan’ rather than someone else?
4. Did the signing off of this ‘loan’ by the Trustees comply with the King Commission requirements for trustees?
5. Who in KwaSizabantu and the businesses that converted the money to hard cash, were aware of this loan and cash conversion and why did they not raise concerns?
6. What has the mission done to prevent this happening again?
7. Why attack the motives of the person who exposed the missing 145 million? Even if it was done for wrong motives and the power of attorney was invalid, he has done a public service.
8. Even if the claim of a motivate to take over the management of the Mission is true, why is this wrong. Surely if there was mismanagement of R145 million, new management would be in the best interests of the Mission and its Trust objectives?
9. Why was the loan not secured?
10. KwaSizabantu Constitution puts almost all power in the hands of a three person ‘governing body’, who can at their discretion expel anyone else. Theoretically, 50 other members can call a meeting asking them for answers, but realistically, they can expel anyone who attempts to hold them accountable with no due process, which it seems happens often. Such a constitution seems overdue for reform.
11. Who are the auditors of KwaSizabantu when all this took place. What did the auditors say?
12. Are the people who authorised this ‘loan’ still in leadership at KwaSizabantu?
13. Where did this money end up? Who has it now?
14. If the ‘loan’ was to expand the bottled water facility as claimed, then why was it not made in tranches payable on delivery of the results, as would occur with most engineering projects.
15. The loan was advanced in tranches. Why did they not stop payments when no results were delivered by Ndela?
16. Did they sign a contract with Ndela to deliver the results?
To hear the full answers, we may have to await the conclusion of the criminal investigation and court cases that follow, but I don’t find the scant answers in the book remotely credible. Even if no one is found guilty of criminal wrongdoing, this is the biggest waste of charitable resources I know of in South African history – and if KwaSizabantu is going to operate under the name of Christ, they owe the Christian community some better answers and some action to prevent any repeat.
Christian View Network