Tebogo Msimanga |
The Democratic Alliance (DA) laid criminal charges against the officials implicated in the Operation Thusano malfeasance. The party said this is after the Minister of Defence, Thandi Modise, and the Secretary for Defence, Gladys Kudjoe, failed to do their duty in bringing these officials to account.
DA Shadow Minister of Defence Kobus Marais said through Operation Thusano, the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has already funnelled R1.4 billion to Cuba, with R1.2 billion more budgeted to further benefit the Cubans. “The Auditor-General of South Africa (AG) found that all expenditure since Operation Thusano’s inception in 2015 until December 2021 has been irregular, with no procurement procedures followed or deviations obtained prior to entering into supplementary agreements”.
Marais said it is clear that the ANC government was either bamboozled when they entered into the Operation Thusano agreements, or it is further evidence of their corruption. “South Africa has reaped no benefits from this agreement, while the Cubans grow rich from South African taxes”.
He added that it was under the guise of Operation Thusano that SANDF smuggled Interferon (Heberon Alpha-2B) into the country during the Covid-19 pandemic at a cost of $20 million, of which $2 million was irregularly paid.
“It is clear that the ANC government’s agreement with Cuba takes precedent over the needs of our country. Even before the Covid-pandemic pushed the South African economy over the edge it was teetering on, the ANC ignored the PFMA and abused taxpayers while bleeding SANDF dry. It is time we cut all ties with Cuba”.