DA wants police to probe claims that ANC got kickbacks from Prasa deal

2016-09-09 15:23
(Felix Dlangamandla, Netwerk24)

(Felix Dlangamandla, Netwerk24)

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Cape Town - Democratic Alliance MP Manny de Freitas has asked the police to investigate allegations that the ANC may have benefited from money siphoned from a controversial Prasa locomotive deal.

Speaking outside the Cape Town police station on Friday, De Freitas said he had no new evidence, but would ask the police to investigate startling allegations that surfaced in a replying affidavit filed by Prasa chairperson Popo Molefe.

Molefe is involved in a civil suit to get back the money spent on locomotives that are too high for South Africa's rail network. So far, 13 of the 70 locomotives supplied have been reported to be the wrong height, and could damage South Africa's existing rail infrastructure.

Molefe alleged under oath that the supplier of Prasa's controversial Afro 4000 locomotives paid R80m to "entities who were not creditors" of the company, after an Angolan businesswoman had insisted that 10% of the tender's value be paid to the African National Congress.

This was contained in court papers filed at the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg by the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa in August.

Payments

Rapport newspaper reported in January that businesswoman Maria Gomes had admitted that she was a friend of President Jacob Zuma and that Zuma had, on more than one occasion, visited her at her home.

The claim that about R80m of the proceeds from the Prasa locomotives contract was channelled to the ANC stems from meetings Molefe and other Prasa officials had with Auswell Mashaba, Swifambo's managing director, after news of the "too tall" trains broke in 2015.

According to Molefe's affidavit: "Mr Mashaba informed us that... he had been in contact with a Maria Gomes... Ms Gomes told Mr Mashaba that she wanted money for the 'movement'. Ms Gomes also told him that she knew the bid to supply locomotives to Prasa was worth billions and she could not understand why ten percent of the value of the bid could not be paid to the African National Congress. Ms Gomes was insistent that money should go to the movement."

According to the affidavit and its accompanying supporting documents, Mashaba allegedly made a series of payments totalling roughly R80m to Similex, a company of which Gomes is a director, and to lawyer George Sabelo, a business partner of one of Zuma's sons.

Also included in Prasa's latest court papers are emails, dating from December 2013, between Lucky Montana, Prasa's former CEO, and Gomes.

De Freitas said it would not be possible for the ANC to investigate itself, so the best would be to ask the police to investigate the matter.

"Let's get to the bottom of it," he added.

The ANC has already rejected the allegations.

Spokesperson Zizi Kodwa, after News24 broke the news of the claims, said: "The ANC has not received any such funds from the companies concerned and condemns in the harshest possible terms rumour-mongering and the use of the name of the organisation between individuals in their personal deals with no mandate from the party."

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  prasa  |  public transport

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