A call for an investigation into the activities of Chancellor Holdings, a company-linked to South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) is generating controversy. This comes after the new Treasurer General Mark Phosa who is reportedly a supporter of ANC President Jacob Zuma called for a probe into tenders won by Chancellor Holdings as well as President Thabo Mbeki’s role in the company. Some political analysts believe the call for the probe is a retaliation attempt by supporters of Zuma who was sacked by Mbeki as South Africa’s deputy president over corruption allegations. Rok Ajulu is a professor of international relations in South Africa. From the capital, Pretoria he tells reporter Peter Clottey that the call for a probe into the activities of Chancellor Holdings is in the right direction.
“It’s not untoward that the new TG (Treasure General) would want to raise a few questions around the Chancellor Holdings. Chancellor Holdings has been in the media of late because of certain ways and areas in which it invested. And it’s being alleged by the press that there was some degree of opaqueness given that the areas the Chancellor Holdings invested in were very close links to state institutions. And that is where the suggestions that there was something un-transparent in the way or the relationship between Chancellor Holdings and the ruling party. That is the gist of the controversy,” Ajulu pointed out.
He said it was unfortunate some people are reading too much politics into the call for the probe into the activities of Chancellor Holdings.
“I don’t want to read much into that. I think what happened is that the press has raised certain questions around ethic issues around the relationship between Chancellor Holdings and the ANC… the politics of it is probably fairly very simple the new treasury general wants to demonstrate they are a lean broom and they are going to have a clean house. And I think they are not going to do things which are not transparent in terms of the fund raising for the ANC,” he said.
Ajulu denied any political importance into the call for the probe into the activities of Chancellor Holdings.
“I think that there is not much political significance in the sense that it is not something that has caused noises and concern here (South Africa)… this is just one of the newspapers headlines, but it’s not something that is affecting the country like as if there is commotion around Chancellor Holdings. But the controversy between Mbeki and new members in the ANC will continue,” Ajulu pointed out.