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Kema Still On Warpath

Phindi Pressures Public Protector

Phindi Kema. Not taking a back seat, yet!Phindi Kema – still on the warpath

Phindi Kema has hired a high-profile lawyer and threatened to take Public Protector Thuli Madonsela to court because of her failure to release the findings of her investigation of the controversial 1997 sale of the Gauteng government’s horse racing assets.

The assets, which include the Totalisator Agency Board, the Highveld Racing Authority and the three horse racing clubs in the province, were sold for R1 and now form part of Phumelela Gaming and Leisure.  The deal was purportedly intended to make horse racing competitive in a developing gambling market.

Madonsela began investigating the sale of the assets in January 2012 but is yet to release her findings. She has blamed the delay on a crippling lack of resources.

Phindi Kema claims that the Gauteng government acted inappropriately when it transferred the publicly owned assets into private ownership in 1997. Madonsela found that there was a prima facie case of misconduct and launched an investigation – but three years later Kema has lost patience.

She has hired Jamaican-born British barrister Courtenay Griffiths, who represented former Liberian president Charles Taylor during his war crimes trial, to pressure Madonsela into releasing her findings or face court action.

She said Madonsela had failed to release the report despite “promising to do so on several occasions”.

“I am dismayed at your failure to reply to my letter, especially when contrasted with the speed with which you have published many high-profile reports,” Griffiths wrote to Madonsela last month.

“Kema is anxious to avoid further litigation in this matter. However, she will not rule out such an option if it proves to be necessary in order to achieve a speedier resolution of this matter.”

Asked why she laid the complaint 12 years after the sale of the assets, Kema said she found out about the deal only in 2010 and approached the public protector two years later after gathering evidence.

Madonsela this week apologised for the delay but said: “The truth is that cases will take long to investigate because we are severely under-resourced.”

Madonsela said she had completed the investigation and would release the report in “one or two months” after it had been discussed by the parties involved.

She said her office had received about 20000 complaints in the past financial year and her investigators were struggling to get through their case load.

She denied that she prioritised high-profile cases. “In fact, 13 out of 16 investigation reports that we issued in the year to the end of March related to complaints by ordinary people,” said Madonsela.

(source:  Timeslive.co.za)



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10 comments on “Kema Still On Warpath”

  1. Would be a good idea if Thuli Madonsela investigated Phindi Kema….and the trail of destruction, and destitution she left in the Sunday’s River Valley.
    Horse breeder…my eye!!

  2. SOUTH AFRICAN GROOMS ASSOCIATION,are the one of the complainants on the aforesaid matter to the Public Prosecutor. We also supports Mrs Kema what she trying to do,because number of occasions we request the clarity of this matter from the Office of Public Prosecutor. We get nothing from the Invistigators in stead of a clarity they getting rude for us.

  3. It is important to focus on the MAIN ISSUE and that is 1. How and why Phumelela was formed 2. the effects of Phumelela’s milking of the system to the detriment of the entire industry and 3. the serious implications. For that reason, I am fully behind these endeavours.

  4. We have seen so many Stud Farms close down and no one seemed to notice and now that Kema is on Phumelela’s case then Phumelela and its cronies care!!! She may not have ran a successful Stud (according to them) but she has done something much bigger than that. Good for you Kema.

  5. Ms Kema is doing what the industry has failed to do and that is to hold Phumelela liable for their commitments. Let’s not avoid the issue here. Phumelela is taking from this industry about R100m annually. Good for you Ms Kema, Keep up the good work.

  6. Michael , maybe you should look into the agreement which was put in place and hasn’t been challenged. There is always 2 sides to a coin and unfortunately in our industry the coin continuously seem to spin ! Read between the lines 🙂 The industry or game as it is referred to has changed remarkably and maybe the agreement should as well.

  7. We should not forget that Phumelela got involved when racing was in severe trouble and that the existing structure would have been declared bankrupt if it was a company. Getting the assets for a rand might seem completely ridiculous now but at the time was reflective of the prevailing circumstances.

    If the assets were sold at fair value a lot more money might have been raised but racing as we know it would have ceased to exist. Phumelela has done a lot of good for the local industry and it is being properly run as a business which has secured the longer term future of racing in South Africa.

    The real question that should be asked is if they could do more for local racing? The answer is an emphatic yes and this is why they are constantly under attack from various quarters.

    I don’t believe that anyone begrudges them an annual and growing profit as that is expected from a listed company but people would like to see them putting as passionate an effort into racing as they are into their diversified operations.

    Re-popularising racing would be the dream of any marketer worth his or her salt as few things are more exciting as a challenge than starting with a blank canvas and from such a low base. I would personally love an opportunity to promote racing as an activity rather than as an attraction which is what current efforts are limited to.

  8. Where does she get the money to fund all of these actions? My information is that after she totally messed up her so called stud farming career she didn’t have a bean left. Yet she pops up all over the place? Very interesting.

  9. Wayne, it’s not worth bothering yourself about Ms Kema’s financial state or even who her funders are. The industry concern should be the dire financial constraints the industry is in because of Phumelela’s exploitation of the sector. Surely for someone in financial difficulty Ms Kema is not doing badly. Well done to her for reaching this point and sticking it out this long!

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