An explosive report on corruption in the Eastern Cape has named three top ANC leaders - including a current national minister - as the figures behind the systematic "siphoning off" of nearly R200million in public money in dodgy deals which benefitted them and their families.
The Daily Dispatch has obtained a copy of the Pillay Commission report, which current Eastern Cape Premier Nosimo Balindlela has resisted releasing publicly for a year.
It reveals that nearly a quarter of a billion rand simply disappeared from the province's public coffers over a decade.
The report indicts the administration of Makhenkesi Stofile, former Eastern Cape premier and current national Sports Minister, who presided over what Judge Ronnie Pillay described as the "clearly orchestrated siphoning off of money from the fiscus".
The report refers to an investigation by a special investigative unit of the auditor-general's office called Project Spin, which the commission only laid its hands on in its final days.
It was this report that lifted the lid on the alleged activities of Stofile and two other key figures - current ANC provincial chairman Stone Sizani, also a former education MEC, and Enoch Godongwana, a former economic affairs MEC and current head of the financial sector charter council.
Mike Stofile, Makhenkesi's brother and former SA Rugby Union deputy president, is also named as a beneficiary of irregular deals. Other top political figures are also named.
Earlier this week both Sizani and Godongwana's names were floated as potential replacements for Balindlela as the ANC prepares to axe her from her job.
Stofile's phone was switched off yesterday, while Sizani and Godongwana refused to answer questions, saying only that the commission was a political ploy to discredit them.
Both politicians said they were never called to testify in front of the commission and had little regard for its findings.
Sizani said he had "nothing to hide" and would willingly answer to any judiciary process, before slamming down the phone.
Pillay makes several recommendations, including taking steps to retrieve money from the individuals implicated.
Last night ANC national spokesman Jessie Duarte said she did not know much about the Pillay Commission, which she initially said was a government matter. -Daily Dispatch