Chancellor House, the ANC & Hitachi

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Chancellor House and Hitatchi found red handed in underhanded dealings

The findings of the SEC regulators in the USA that there were corrupt dealings between the international giant Hitatchi and the ANC funding vehicle, Chancellor House, have once again caused scandal and scorn. Once again the South African ruling party has caused the country international embarrassment and added significantly to the widely held opinion that corruption in South Africa, at the highest levels, is rife.

What exactly is the issue here?

  • Chancellor House was set up in 2003 with the sole purpose to serve as funding vehicle for the ANC.

  • In 2005 Chancellor House purchased a 25% share in the local Hitatchi subsidiary.

  • In 2007 the contract to supply steam generators for South Africa’s first new power stations in 20 years was awarded to Hitatchi. The fact that the ANC owned 25% of Hitatchi meant that it had a R3 billion stake in these projects.

  • Valli Moosa, then chair of the Eskom board, presided over the committee that awarded these lucrative contracts. Not much out of order there, but Valli Moosa was, at the time, also a member of the ANC’s fund-raising committee!

  • Up to now both Hitachi and Chancellor House vehemently denied that their relationship is corrupt, that influence was paid for by Hitatchi and that the ANC as a political party has unduly influenced the awarding of lucrative state contracts to its own business partners.

  • Meanwhile, back in the US of A the Securities and Exchange Commission has been busy investigating scaly dealings by Hitatchi. Their report regarding the dealings between Chancellor House and Hitatchi is damning in the extreme. The SEC found that Hitatchi “inaccurately recorded improper payments to South Africa’s ruling party in connection with contracts to build two multi-billion dollar power plants.” So damning is the report of the SEC and so conclusive that Hitatchi fell over its own feet offering to pay a fine of $19 million to try and make the matter go away.

What does the ANC have to day about this matter?

Zizi Kodwa, ANC spokesperson had this to say about the matter: “The ANC finds it difficult to respond to the Hitachi matter because the party has not participated in the said transactions.”

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