Yengeni under Attack for "Undeclared" Home
|Reporter||Andre Koopman & Sapa|
Cape Town - ANC chief whip Tony Yengeni, in hot
water over his acquisition of a luxury 4x4, came in for more criticism on
Tuesday when it was revealed that he had not declared a R268 000 Milnerton home
he bought in 1994.
In terms of parliament's register of members'
interests, MPs have to declare gifts or assets worth more than R350, but Yengeni
had not declared the home.
Democratic Alliance chief whip Douglas Gibson on
Tuesday released deeds office documents, which showed that Yengeni had bought
the house on a bond of R286 000.
'This is a strain on me and my family'
Yengeni was not available for comment, although
he has revealed for the first time the strain he and his family are going
through over allegations of impropriety over his acquisition of a Mercedes-Benz
"This is a strain on me and my family. it's
not a thing for my children to be reading this (allegation) in newspapers and
seeing it on television. "But I'm strong because I know that I'm clean. And
I have had a lot of support," he said.
It appears unlikely that Yengeni will be given
more than a verbal slap on the wrist should it be proved he acted unethically in
receiving a car either as a gift or a loan from a company which is involved in
the R43-billion arms deal.
Yengeni continues to carry out his duties as
chief whip of the ANC in parliament as further allegations emerge that he failed
to declare his ownership of an upmarket house.
'I'm clean ... I have nothing to hide'
Yengeni said that he had yet to be contacted
either by investigators from the three agencies mandated to probe the arms deal
or by parliament's ethics committee.
Gibson said in the letter to Sr Bernard Ncube
(ANC) that Yengeni had disclosed - in 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000 - that he owned
property in Guguletu, bought in 1991, although he appeared not to be the
registered owner. "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 says.
Following newspaper reports, Gibson asked for the
committee to investigate allegations that Yengeni might have failed to disclose
a gift of a Mercedes-Benz 4x4 from DaimlerChrysler Aerospace (Dasa). "On
the face of it, and at the very least, Yengeni appears to have had the free use
of an expensive motor vehicle for a lengthy period, without the benefit being
Parliament's committee on ethics and members'
interests will meet at 11am on Wednesday to discuss Gibson's complaint.
In a radio interview on Wednesday, 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 deal.
"Neither myself 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 investigators. "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."
Yengeni said he hoped for a quick investigation
so that he could clear his name.
With acknowledgement to Andre Koopman, Sapa
and The Mercury.