Former MEC allegedly exchanged contract for ANC donation

2013-06-12 11:41

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The KwaZulu-Natal government wanted a contract with a Cape Town-based Uruguayan businessman to be concluded quickly so he could make a donation to the ANC.

Former KwaZulu-Natal health MEC Peggy Nkonyeni allegedly told this to Kantha Padayachee, who is challenging her suspension from the provincial health department in the labour court, Durban daily, the Mercury, reported today.

Padayachee, who was the health department’s legal services general manager, told the court that Nkonyeni told her about the donation when she raised concerns about the contract for oxygen-generating plants.

“She told me she (Nkonyeni) had just become the treasurer of the ANC in the province and was under pressure to conclude the contract (with Intaka) so the ANC could receive the donation,” Padayachee was quoted as saying by the Mercury.

According to the paper, Padayachee was in court fighting her three-year suspension from the department.

She claims she was suspended after being interviewed by the Hawks in connection with a corruption case.

In the case, Uruguayan businessman Gaston Savoi and several senior KwaZulu-Natal government employees were charged with racketeering, fraud, and money laundering.

The Mercury reported that the State alleged Savoi made a R1 million donation to the ANC to secure the contract to supply water purification and oxygen-generating plants to the provincial departments of local government and health.

Nkonyeni, who was now the speaker in the KwaZulu-Natal legislature, was initially charged, but these charges were withdrawn in October. The health department said Padayachee was suspended after misconduct charges were brought against her.

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