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Tourism Tender scandal: Chris Pappas uses Zulu to hide looting


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Tourism Tender scandal: Chris Pappas uses Zulu to hide looting

4th October 2023


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The reaction of the Democratic Alliance to the public outrage following allegations of corruption levelled against its councillor and Mayor of UMngeni Local Municipality Chris Pappas has revealed few things.

Firstly, it has reminded us of the apartheid era in which the public service was appendage to an illegitimate government which was not accountable to anyone except to a small minority.


As we all know, under the apartheid government, the majority of people were treated as passive recipients who had to accept what they were given.

There was no culture of openness, transparency and accountability. Government actions were often labeled top secret or confidential.


Despite both Chris Pappass and his fiancée, JP Prinsloo admitting in interviews that indeed he (Prinsloo) was awarded a tourism contract, DA leaders such as Francois Rodgers and Dean Macpherson have tried to deflect attention away from the scandal. They have accused those who are calling for accountability of being involved in a smear campaign.

DA provincial leaders have forgotten that under a democratic government, citizens know their rights. In addition, the social media has ensure that secrecy that characterized the apartheid system is eradicated.

Judging by discussions in various platforms, ordinary members of society have welcomed investigations to be conducted by both the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs and the Public Protector.

The public protector in particular and other chapter nine institutions were created to flush out the dictates of the apartheid ideology in the public service.

Under apartheid government decisions were mainly of a top down nature and no one was allowed to ask questions. It is very clear that Pappass, Rodgers and Macpherson are leaving in the past where whites only leaders in government were not questioned.

Where do we come from exactly with Pappas?

The second issue that perhaps we need to focus on is the failed attempts by Pappass and the DA to stop the Premier's Imbizo. The event finally took place on 15th July at Mpophomeni Stadium after Pappas’s involvement in the hit and run incident.

As the ANC we took strong exception to what we described as an attempt to turn uMngeni Local Municipality into Pappas “No-Go-Area Fiefdom.”

Driven by nothing but to preserve the pre-1994 status quo, the DA has tried all tricks in the book to wrest power from the ANC, all under false pretences.

That its efforts have only achieved to deepen the racial divide in our society, does not seem to bother the DA. If it cannot get power by fair means, then it will attain this objective even by fronting with a racist leader who speak Zulu.

In the run-up to the 2024 general elections, the DA’s racist fight back campaign of two decades ago, has again been unleashed on our people. In this campaign, the purported motivation for the DA is to keep ANC wolves at bay.

Incredible as this motivation is, the DA is banking on the gullibility and ignorance of the few to fall for its lies. In this narrative, there was no administration before 1994 and the ANC inherited a government that was working perfectly-fine for all the citizens of the country and everything was hunky-dory.

It blames the ills afflicting our country on the ANC and seeks to project itself as the messiah. Yet, even a cursory look at our country’s history and the record of the DA, in its different incarnations, shows that it has never stood with the oppressed masses.

History shows that even the DA’s revered Helen Suzman initially sought a qualified franchise and not universal franchise for Africans. The least said about Tony Leon the better, suffice to say that his father, Ramon Leon, sentenced Umkhonto WesiZwe operative, Cde Andrew Zondo, to the gallows.

Latterly, even Helen Zille, she who claimed to have exposed the plot behind the assassination of anti-apartheid activist, Steve Biko, months ago praised colonialism and apartheid for the development that these brought to our land. The fate of Mmusi Maimane is well-documented and the mediocre capabilities of John Steenhuisen are well-known.

So, the DA is not what it claims to be. It is the last citadel for white power and privilege in South Africa.

We also saw how the DA leaders have brazenly tried to expropriate the legacy of the global icon Nelson Mandela for their own selfish interest. For Pappas to stand on the legacy of Tata Madiba and attempt to besmirch the current leaders of the ANC is just pure opportunism. But, it is opportunism borne of a superiority complex premised on racism.

Pappas think that his smattering command of the language of the natives who are the majority in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, would grant him automatic acceptance by the masses of our people. Yet, our people have seen through this façade.

Our people know that our oppressors also used, and continue to use isiZulu in farms and factories, to oppress and shortchange them. But, an opportunist like Pappas would not be awake to this fact.

It is interesting that Dean Macpherson, in particular through various social media platforms has been hurling insults at the Provincial Chair, Cde Siboniso Duma unprovoked. This has been done in an attempt to elevate Pappas. Some have correctly likened the DA’s action to an attempt to make a dwarf looks like a giant.

Fake media accounts and troll armies have been hired. This is a clear indication that the DA has been working assiduously to hammer out their attack on  Duma.

Unfortunately, their plan has gone flat because Duma has remained focused on his responsibilities and not bothered about their scurrilous campaign.

Duma rose through the ranks of the ANC Youth League and has served in various portfolios committees in the legislature since 2014. He is the MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs and the Leader of Government Business. To top it all, the Auditor General of South Africa presented his department and more than 5 of his entities with a Clean Audit Outcome Report for the financial year 2022/2023.

In addition, Duma is a committed family man who runs his family on strong Christian values. He has never been accused of using public office to bankroll the lavish lifestyle of his mistress.

The same cannot be said about the tiny Pappass.

It is ingrained in his psyche that, purely on the basis of the colour of his skin and the philosophy of racial superiority that he subscribes to, he is ordained to lead, irrespective of his lack of experience.

Like many of his ilk, his eyes are blind to the fact that the country is where it is today because of the decisions that his forefathers took and from which he draws his own privilege.

He is blind to the fact that the ANC, through its pragmatic policies, rescued this country from an abyss of race-motivated violence and strife.

The skewed distribution of land and productive assets, and weak property rights can be directly linked to the Land Act of 1913 and many other pieces of segregationist legislation.

While the DA’s call for the people of KwaZulu-Natal to reject the ANC is unfounded and will not find traction, it does mean that we have a duty to safeguard the legacy of our movement and our leaders who have since been called to higher service.

The people of South Africa know their liberators.

They know where their current challenges stem from. They know about the global economic slowdown and its effects on their lives. They know that the ANC is their beacon of hope. They know that Pappas’ sole intention is, using stealth and guile, to put them back in chains.

They know that the DA’s fight back campaign, whose arrowhead is Pappas in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, spells the reversal of the gains of the national democratic revolution.

They know that the many victories that Pappas is claiming as his today in UMngeni Local Municipality, were projects that were conceptualised by an ANC administration. They know that he is reaping where he definitely did not sow.

As the ANC, we are not going to be distracted by the theatrics of Pappas and the racist DA. If the DA decides to continue with its fight back campaign, then it does so at its own peril.

The voters will definitely be harsh on them at the polls, because the overwhelming majority of South Africans do not want to go back to apartheid.

Given his age, Pappas can still change and abandon the ill-fated project of white supremacy that he is championing, but rather join all patriotic South Africans in building a national democratic society.

Cde Mqondisi Duma, the  Convenor of the ANC Youth League in KZN is the one who is Pappas’s equal. And he will gladly assist Pappass to liberate  himself from the mentality steeped in the ideology of apartheid.

Finally, we are looking forward to the 2019 Manifesto Review Rally which will take place at Harry Gwala Stadium this coming Sunday. We will reflect on service delivery in all municipalities under UMgungundlovu District including UMngeni.

We will give all communities the opportunity to assess the performance of the government they elected into office.



Written by KZN ANC Provincial Spokesperson, Mafika Mndebele  



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