Bosasa paid R1.35m to Supra Mahumapelo's friend for 'nothing'

2019-04-28 07:34
Supra Mahumapelo: uit.Foto: Susan Cilliers

Supra Mahumapelo: uit.Foto: Susan Cilliers

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A businessman and close friend of former North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo was paid R1.35-million by a front company of corruption accused company Bosasa for ‘nothing’.

Three payments of R450 000 were made in September, October and November 2017, leading up to the ANC’s National Elective Conference in December - to a company solely owned by Israel Thebe Thoka, who has been Mahumapelo’s friend and associate for decades.

The funds were channelled through the same Bosasa front company used to hide a R500 000 donation from Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson to the 2017 ANC presidential campaign of President Cyril Rampahosa, Miotto Trading and Advisory Services.

The funds were paid from Miotto to Thoka’s company, Moroka Consultants. Thoka also happens to be a director of the SOR Mahumapelo Foundation, company records show.

In his 2018 declaration of member’s interests filed to the North West legislature, Mahumapelo declared a donation and/or sponsorship from the Foundation. The declaration covers the same time period in which Thoka was paid by Bosasa.

The declaration does not mention an amount.

thoka, mahumapelo

A screenshot of Supra Mahumapelo's 2018 declaration of member's interests form submitted to the North West Legislature. Mahumapelo declared a sponsorship/donation from Israel Thoka, who during that same time period received R1.35-million from Bosasa. 

Mahumapelo is disputing that he received any funds from Thoka or the Foundation.

In a text message Mahumapelo stated the declaration refers to a donation from Thoka to the Foundation “on or about Nov/Dec 2017” and not a donation to him personally.

During an interview with News24 on Wednesday however, Mahumapelo stated he was not involved in the day to day running of the foundation and did not have knowledge of donations to and from the foundation.

On Saturday Mahumapelo told News24 that any attempt to link him to the deal between Thoka and Bosasa would be met with legal action.

There is no evidence that Mahumapelo benefitted from the Bosasa payments. His vague declaration however, raises questions over the nature of the sponsorship he declared.

“Mr Mahumapelo did not at any stage receive sponsorship/donation from the foundation,” the Foundation’s events and operations manager, Funani Mali said on Friday.

These statements by Mali and Mahumapelo are at odds with the fact he chose to declare a sponsorship/donation from the Foundation .  

As Mahumapelo is not an office bearer of the Foundation, he was under no obligation to declare a donation in his declaration of member’s interests.

The declaration would only have been necessary had he personally benefitted financially.

The favourite front company

The payments to Thoka’s company, Moroka Consultants, were channelled through Miotto Trading and Advisory Services.

News24 uncovered that Miotto was used to channel the donation to Rampahosa's campaign, and also to pay R1.1million legal fees for disgraced SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

Ramaphosa was at the time campaigning to take over the leadership of the ANC.

The payments are revealed in an affidavit by former Bosasa auditor, Peet Venter, who attached two proof of payments and an unsigned agreement between Moroka and Miotto.

Venter gave evidence before the State Capture Commission of Inquiry in March, in which he also touched on the payment.

Peet Venter

Former Bosasa auditor Peet Venter during his testimony before the State Capture Commission of Inquiry.

In his affidavit however, Venter said “no services have been provided as this is merely a front for other intentions”. Venter did not elaborate on the nature of the “other intentions”.

The sole director of Miotto during this period was Margaret Longworth, Venter’s sister.

Longworth previously told News24 she was merely a director, and Venter had managed the company’s bank account.

 The agreement Venter attached states that Moroka would “provide and render consulting services to Miotto for a turnaround business strategy and to provide the necessary training and development to implement such”.

This raises several red flags, because:

-          Miotto had no discernible business activities during its lifespan and was registered to a residential address which News24 established was Longworth’s home in Krugersdorp

-          Miotto had no employees

Miotto has since been placed under voluntary liquidation.

Company records show further links between Mahumapelo and Thoka, including shared addresses.

Two companies of which Mahumapelo is a director bear an address in Magoegoe Village in Mafikeng.

This same address appears on no less than 10 other companies of which Thoka is a director.

Nothing to do with Mahumapelo

Thoka told News24 his business with Bosasa had nothing to do with Mahumapelo.

He urged News24 not to “pre judge some issues” as the matter raised was “not yet finalised by the commission”.

Thoka confirmed he was a board member of the SOR Mahumapelo Foundation, and that he was the sole director of Moroka.

Israel Thoka

Israel Thebe Thoka, a close friend and associate of former North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo. Photo - Facebook/Southern Africa Sanctuary of Hope Covenant Church 

“Indeed I have known and worked with Mr Mahumapelo for many years in the ANC and he has no say or authority on how I run both my private and business affairs,” Thoka said.

“On or about November 2017 as part of the Foundation's community responsibilities I bought soccer and netball kits of approximately R35000. 00 and this has nothing to do with Mr. Mahumapelo as we handled this matter as the board. The suggestion you are making in your follow up questions that the donation was for Mr. Mahumapelo is not true,” he added.

“One of the frustrations to be detailed later at the relevant platforms is the lack of cooperation from Miotto and Bosasa regarding Moroka's contractual obligation [to] them,” he concluded.

News24 previously published a series of pictures showing Bosasa's proximity to the ANC, including an undated picture of Mahumapelo with Bosasa directors Papa Leshabane and Thandi Makoko snapped at a Bosasa sponsored ANC North West golf day at Sun City. 

Bosasa, anc

Mahumapelo (back, white hat) is pictured here at a Bosasa sponsored golf day for the ANC in the North West at Sun City in an undated photograph. He is with Bosasa directors Papa Leshabane (back, black cap) and Thandi Makoko (front).

Former Bosasa chief operations officer Angelo Agrizzi has detailed decades of corruption and bribes paid by Bosasa during lengthy testimony before the State Capture Commission, including allegations that ANC members in the province had laundered cash through fake software sale agreements to pay for election campaigns. 

ALSO READ: North West ANC benefitted from money laundering, Zondo commission hears

*Do you have a tip for our investigative journalists? Send an email to tips@24.com

Read more on:    moroka consultants  |  miotto trading  |  peet venter  |  angelo agrizzi  |  israel thoka  |  supra mahumapelo  |  sun city  |  bosasa  |  anc
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