South Africa : Edmund Mhlongo Corrupt South African Swindler

Discussion in 'South Africa' started by ocacia, May 20, 2010.

  1. ocacia

    ocacia Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Mar 14, 2010
    Likes Received:
    very sad this story, how the Diaspora go to help Africa and this is what happens. AFRICA 10 DAYS.htm


    South African is desperate to prove to the world that it has truly transformed the society from the injustices of the apartheid era. The situation of funding a generation means that the culture of begging for money is glorified by such as Edmund Mhlongo. While good has come from such people leading art projects in previously disadvantaged areas like KwaMashu, some good is not an acceptable standard. If someone is given 10 million and builds something with only 2 million and waste the balance then the little good can not justify poor management.

    The development of sustainable business models has been neglected due to the more lucrative ventures of begging for money from a government that needs to look like they are doing some good for the community. With very few actually achieving anything Edmund Mhlongo can position himself to receive the bulk of spending in the township. Corruption in South Africa according to Naidu Patel, an Indian business owner, is like an old boys club. Everyone watching each others back. Corruption is systamtic and never acts alone. It protects itself via the relationships in the network of corruption. So Mr. Mhlongo becomes immune to being dragged down irrespective of what he does. To force justice would risk all of these so-called development projects being threatened.

    These organizations rarely get investigated for corruption or mismanagement. The dire situation is that so few are doing anything, so the ones doing anything shine against their peers. Edmund Mhlongo was part of a two year study and the level of mismanagement makes this study important for accessing why the charge of poor leadership and corruption has to be at the head of the African debate. Edmund Mhlongo success is not in actually skills (which Africa needs) but in exploiting opportunities in the post-Apartheid mechanism. He is therefore able to access funds for what ever project is the "hot" topic of the day. For example if there is a billion dollars for film then his response is to create a film festival and seduce money without any sincere aim beyond milking those funds. The festival fails -- He gets funded. If the government next year needs more training programs in the township he sets them up. If they fail he finds another project. And since failure is never defined in terms of tangible objectives proving failure is very difficult.

    Now this in itself isn’t a problem if your intentions are sincere development. And if the numbers transform to affect the lives of the people in a real way. But this is not the case. Because of gross mismanagement on the part of Edmund Mhlongo very little efficient utilization of funds actually goes on. Therefore booking “motivational meetings” in 5 star hotels, or sending staff for 2 week seminars (aka Vacations) in Europe are how the money is wasted. Edmund Mhlongo has a collection of cars worth $100,000 US dollars all on a salary from a poor non-profit organization. He finds space in the funding to financed his wife's abysmal career, while the CDs manufactured with sponsors money sit thrown up in a storage room. A long list of needy township artist are waiting in line to get there music recorded and developed but this does not happen. But no one wants to expose this activity. Because charities are a business and funding charities is politically correct.

    In a meeting the government development worker says "we spent 10 million this year on arts development in the township." And no one ask to see fruits of how and where this money was spent. When the government runs out of money then the European christian organizations are another source of revenue. But this time the story is a tour of orphans singing and dancing in Edmund Mhlongo's opera. The issue is that the supposed children are not orphans and are being paid slave wages while Edmund Mhlongo retains the full profit.

    Transparency, accountability are far better in South Africa than in say Nigeria. The government does have funds but for lack of suitable BEE candidates this money is squandered on failure after failure. Yet another case study of a Pro-African center which was supposed to be built in Johannesburg does not get funded because they are not part of the Zulu ANC Clique. The Edmund Mhlongo case study is not unique or not rare. It is almost expected to be part and parcel of the African reality.


    In a bid to foster development between African and the Diaspora and transfer vital nation building skills. SJF Media and K-CAP foster a multipronged partnership which would address these issues. One aspect was the creation of a film school which would dually make films and train at the same time. These films would be revenue earners as well as instruments of mentorship and skill building. Also there was an agreement signed for a studio where SJF (UK) would supply state-of-the-art equipment(£25,000), knowledge and training. Edmund Mhlongo would build the physical space.
    It was expected to take 6 months due to funding coming through. The agreement assigned certain conditions. One of those conditions was that the equipment not be used outside of the contractual terms . 6 months became a year, and 1 year became two. And every month Edmund Mhlongo found new excuses to escape building the studio.

    At some stage it was noticed that some equipment being removed and put to alternative usage the rest of the equipment was poorly stored and without proper security (these were both contractual requirements). None of the complaints were acted on by Edmund Mhlongo. Finally, after almost 2 years (beyond the time frame of the contract) the equipment was recovered after it was realized Edmund Mhlongo was telling people that the equipment was donated to him. After collection it was noticed that several expensive items were missing items belonging to K-CAP where mixed in with my items. A list of missing items was reported to Edmund Mhlongo. He said that stuff may have been stolen and we would have to wait on the Police to look for it before he can return it. If he has lost my property he needs to replace He placed conditions on getting back the equipment that was not stolen which still was being used in his personal studio.

    Now our basic morality tells us this is not acceptable. Our grandmothers in the Caribbean and in Africa taught us right from wrong. Equipment was entrusted to Edmund Mhlongo K-CAP for the development of African people. He mismanaged and lost and damaged this expensive equipment, which was sitting catching dust for the most part. Then refused to replace the items he allowed to be stolen (giving him the benefit of the doubt that they were actually stolen). At this stage a traditional African resolution was suggested but the so-called Pan-Africanist acting as mediators skillfully slipped away and the meeting never happened. The matter has now been referred to the legal system of South Africa. But this system protects privilege and protects the powerful. It is a systems that is just to those with power.

    Pan-Africanism is a moral code of how we as African interact with each other. If not rooted in principles of trust an accountability then what is it we are claiming? Conflicts and disagreements are an integral part of human life and Pan-African life is no different. But what is critical is that justice and truth are at the foundation of ethics. We are accountable to each other and nothing glorious will ever come to this continent on the bases of poor morals, corruption or dishonesty. We must hold our peers accountable at all times regardless of our broader relationships with them, beyond theory we all must enshrine these values as inalienable rights of one another.

    Now what do white people say about us? Must we prove them right? Must the children of Africa return to be visited with criminality? This continent has a foundational cancer and Edmund Mhlongo is a small fish but a contributor to this dilemma. It does not t matter if it is charities, schools, etc the greed and corruption poison everything they touch. And we must look at the root of the disease in Africa and not the symptoms of bad leadership and corruption.