dear reader

Last December, in the week between Christmas and New Year, some important people were summoned to a meeting at the Cape Town home of ANC Chief Whip, Tony Yengeni. Those who qualified for official travel privileges, were warned not to use them when booking their airtickets, as they might later be more easily traced.

The main item on the agenda was what to do about the investigations – called for and approved by Parliament's Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) – into the arms procurement programme. The Hon. Mr Yengeni is not only chief whip, charged with making sure that all ANC MPs tow the party line; he was also chairman of Parliament's Defence Committee at the time that the weapons deals were approved and concluded, remember? A luxury motor vehicle he acquired from one of the companies involved in the arms deals – when he still headed the defence committee – is currently the subject of some controversy. 'I and others have money in our bank accounts that we can't explain,' Yengeni told the people gathered at his home in December. 'We don't intend to explain it to anyone, either. We deserve it,' he declared. Turning a hard-won victory to farce – is that what the struggle's come to? 

And were we witnessing a meeting of a chapter of La Xhosa Nostra?

Yengeni has since taken personal control of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts. (Goodbye Mr Feinstein.) So much for the government's commitment to exposing the truth.

The Editor

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