Yengeni didn't Declare House
Cape Town - African
National Congress Chief Whip Tony Yengeni might not only have failed to declare
a gift of a luxury vehicle, but may also have not disclosed a property he owns
in Cape Town, according to the Democratic Alliance. Yengeni was not immediately
available for comment.
In a letter on Tuesday
to the chair of Parliament's ethics committee, DA Chief Whip Douglas Gibson said
Yengeni needed to explain why he failed to declare his private residence in
Tijgerhof in the
Register of Members' Interests, as required by the Code of Conduct. "There
is an extraordinary omission in that at all material times Mr Yengeni was the
registered owner of erf 1825 Cape Town.... which is his private residence.
"The property was
purchased for the sum of R268 000 on 11 August 1994, and a mortgage bond for the
sum of R268 000 was registered simultaneously with transfer." Gibson said
in the letter to Sister Bernard Ncube (ANC) that Yengeni had disclosed - in
1997, 1998, 1999 and the year 2000 - that he owned property in Guguletu,
purchased in 1991, although he appeared not to be the registered owner of this
property. "Mr Yengeni needs to explain why he failed to declare the (Tijgerhof)
property, as he is required to in terms of the Code of Conduct," the letter
here to read what Yengeni has declared.
newspaper reports, Gibson on Monday asked for the committee to investigate
allegations that Yengeni may have failed to disclose a gift of a Mercedes-Benz
4X4 from DaimlerChrysler Aerospace (Dasa).
"Mr Yengeni needs
to explain the circumstances surrounding the acquisition by him from a director
or employee of DamilerChrysler Aerospace, or any company associated with it, and
the alleged fact that a financing agreement was only concluded some seven months
"On the face of
it, and at the very least, Mr Yengeni appears to have had the free use of an
expensive motor vehicle for a lengthy period, without the benefit being
required to declare all benefits in excess of R350 received by them, and the use
of a vehicle, reportedly worth in excess of R350 000, would, in my submission,
on ethics and members' interests will meet on Wednesday at 11am to discuss
In a radio interview
on Tuesday, Yengeni dismissed as a pack of lies claims that he had received the
car as a kickback from Dasa, which through its successor has a 33 percent stake
in Reutech, which won a R220-million radar contract in the controversial arms
'Nothing sinister about the
or the acquisition of the vehicle has anything to do with the arms procurement
deal. Anyone who believes otherwise should present their information to the
"There is nothing
sinister about the acquisition of the car. The car is still with me and I am
paying for it." When asked why he had made his first payment on the vehicle
seven months after it was registered in his name, Yengeni said the Sunday Times
should substantiate its claim. "I am ready to submit to a formal
investigation and will not subject myself to a trial in the media. I'm clean...
I have nothing to hide."
He hoped for a quick
investigation so that he could clear his name, Yengeni said.
innocence, Yengeni said the allegations were "nothing else but a pack of
The allegations were
also raised during a sitting of the National Assembly on Tuesday, but Speaker Dr
Frene Ginwala ruled that she would allow no motions on Yengeni's controversial
acquisition of the vehicle.
The only exception was
one moved by Gibson, who started reading a motion on the issue at the start of
business in the House. Ginwala stopped him mid-way, saying the DA had itself
referred the matter to Parliament's joint committee on ethics. She would ask the
committee to report to the House before it adjourned for the Easter recess next
Ginwala said MPs had
been asking through the media that she act on the matter. But the only official
documents she had received, relating to the matter were from the chairman of
Parliament's standing committee on public accounts (Scopa), Dr Gavin Woods.
The only information
they contained on Yengeni and the motor vehicle was an extract from the motor
vehicle register, showing it had been registered in his name on October 27 1998.
Ginwala appealed to
members with any other evidence to submit it to her, the joint ethics committee,
Members should not
think there was an assumption of guilt.
At Gibson's request,
she allowed him to complete his motion.
acknowledgement to Sapa and News24.