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MP Marwick Khumalo writes letter to the editor, blasts Walter Bennett for accusing MPs of using ‘dirty’ money during campaigns.

Sunday, 26th November, 2023

Dear Mr Zwemart.

Mr Editor, may you allow me space in your internationally acclaimed newspaper to respond to what has been said by Mr Walter Bennett in relation to the inseparability of elections and money in today’s Times Sunday. 

My carefully crafted response to his sentiments that was sought for,was emasculated.Hence my request to you. I first spoke about this matter in the House of Assembly and I standby my submission thereat.

He alleges that the House of Assembly, of which I am a part, has been receiving ‘dirty’ money from those that seek election to Senate.

I wonder what gives him the right to trample upon the House each time he gets an opportunity to do so?  For my part I take great exception to such an accusation from a political dinosaur who has very little to offer in contemporary politics. 

Here is why; Section 3 (1) of the Election Expenses Act,2013 states clearly that; “Election expenses’ means all funds expended or expenses incurred in respect of the conduct and management of a secondary election campaign or an election by a candidate and includes,−(@) in relation to an election campaign, all expenses or expenditure incurred by a candidate for the purpose of an election campaign”.

I am in no way referring to the usage of money as bribery for votes,but as an acceptable legal tool for election campaign.However,I am aware that some fresh reporters in some media outlet and their friends would like to disingenuously treat all money used for electioneering as bribery.They are shoving that falsehood for everyone to swallow. Well, we will not allow that evil agenda to go unchallenged. 

Furthermore, they are conveniently confining my submission to the recent Senate Elections, which I never even made mention of in my submission. Ironically, none of the commentators had made mention of the Elections Expenses Act No.5, 2013 until I raised it in parliament, otherwise they were all fumbling making it all look illegal. 

Mr Bennett in his diatribe refers to dirty money, whatever he meant,but I wonder if he is qualified to make that determination in view of the fact that there is strong legislation in this country on Anti-Money Laundering? 

The appropriate law-enforcement agencies are more qualified in this area than he. I know he has a lot to teach us about ‘dirty money’, and history will bear me out on this one. Ever since he got ONE vote during the Senate Elections in the Tenth Parliament, he has never forgiven the House.

Unless there is empirical evidence that the law has been violated by anyone seeking office,then Mr Bennett should spare us the noise.

Secondly,as a morally upright citizen, since he considers himself to be one,what’s stopping him from opening a case with the police for the apprehension of members involved in ‘dirty money’? Talking about dirty money,I know of one champion of dirty money,where there is overwhelming evidence.

Mr Walter Bennett is fond of making references to integrity and decency, fooling people into believing that he exemplifies that,yet that category for him remains elusive.

He goes on to give a lecture on what MPs should confine themselves to during campaigns.If he is the master politician, that he considers himself to be,what has prevented him from standing for elections in the constituencies since the beginning of Tinkhundla.He knows nothing about national elections campaigning.There is no back door to parliament.

Finally,I am ready to defend the dignity of the House from some cantankerous roaming astray. Otherwise,criticism is always acceptable,not insults and unsubstantiated wild accusations. 

MP Marwick Khumalo writes letter to the editor, blasts Walter Bennett for accusing MPs of using ‘dirty’ money during campaigns.
Walter Bennett.