South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU), has moved to explain how R65 million worth of pension money went missing from its coffers. The money, meant for orphans of deceased mineworkers, was allegedly laundered by the union’s former secretary general Zenzo Mahlangu, among others.
This follows an investigation by forensic firm SekelaXaso which uncovered how SATAWU was allegedly used to launder money.
Four years ago, a report from whistle-blowers claimed the union was run by foreign nationals. It was claimed these people were willing to use force, including murder, to silence members who spoke about missing money.
SATAWU’s Deputy General Secretary Anele Kiet says the union was not aware of the illegal transaction until a forensic audit was conducted.
“When you form an investment wing there should be trustees… those trustees were elected but the general secretary – as a CEO of the investment wing – was running the show alone. So therefore a report never came to SATAWU that such transactions were taking place within our investment wing. We never received a report that comes from the investment wing that there are some activities that are taking place.”
Kiet says they will be convening a policy conference in November to come with ways to avoid the situation happening again.
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