Bosasa scandal: Commission looks into allegations chief magistrate scored R200 000 security upgrade

2019-02-04 15:57
Desmond Nair

Desmond Nair

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The Magistrates Commission says it will give Pretoria Chief Magistrate Desmond Nair an opportunity to comment on allegations made against him at the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture.

READ: Pretoria chief magistrate implicated in Bosasa scandal at state capture inquiry

The commission, which is the oversight body for magistrates in South Africa, has confirmed that claims that Nair received security benefits from controversial facilities management company Bosasa, were deliberated upon by the ethics committee during a meeting on February 1.

It resolved that the matter would be placed on the Magistrate's Commission's agenda at its meeting, scheduled for February 22.

Nair allegedly accepted the installation of R200 000 worth of security systems at his Pretoria home, including a full electric fence, CCTV and alarm systems.

This was revealed by Bosasa employee Richard Le Roux, who testified before the commission on Thursday last week.

Le Roux, who was issued with a summons to appear before the commission, works for Global Technology Systems, a subsidiary of Bosasa, previously known as Sondolo IT.

Le Roux could not confirm the position Nair held, but News24 has been informed by a Bosasa source who has knowledge of the matter, that his reference was to the chief magistrate in Pretoria.

Bosasa is now known as African Global Operations.

When contacted by News24, Nair briefly responded: "I have noted the report and have referred the matter to my legal representatives to follow the legal processes."

Nair has appointed attorney Ulrich Roux to represent him in this matter.

The majority of Le Roux's testimony was taken up with evidence surrounding "special projects" Le Roux undertook on the instruction of various Bosasa directors, including CEO Gavin Watson, chief operations officer Angelo Agrizzi, as well as Trevor Mathenjwa, Syvion Dlamini and Papa Leshabane.

The special projects entailed the installation of security systems, including electric fencing, CCTV and alarm systems, at various homes of politicians and government officials around the country.

READ: Bosasa's special projects extended to ministers, a magistrate says witness

This includes Environmental Affairs Minister Nomvula Mokonyane, current Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe (ANC secretary general at the time), former SAA chair Dudu Myeni, Deputy Minister of Correctional Services Thabang Makwetla, ANC MP Vincent Smith and one-time procurement manager at the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa), Mbulelo Gingcana.

Gingcana was seconded to Prasa at the time, but is employed full-time by the Civil Aviation Authority. Long-time Bosasa ally, former correctional services commissioner Linda Mti was also on the receiving end of installations at two of his properties in the Eastern Cape.

News24 first reported on the installations in September last year, all paid for by Bosasa.

Le Roux's evidence before the commission on Thursday corroborated the allegations and News24 reports about what the installations consisted of:

  • CCTV and recording systems, and perimeter lighting for Mineral Resources Minister Mantashe's house in Boksburg as well as homes in Cala and Elliot in the Eastern Cape, valued at R300 000;
  • An electric fence, alarm system, CCTV system and computer server worth R350 000 for Makwetla's home;
  • A R150 000 alarm and CCTV system for Gingcana's Randburg home;
  • Electric fencing, CCTV and an alarm system worth R250 000 for Myeni's Richards Bay home;
  • R350 000 worth of work – including 4km of electric fencing and perimeter lighting, and alarm system repairs – to two of Mti's properties, in Colchester and Greenbushes, outside Port Elizabeth; and
  • Electric fencing and a CCTV system worth R200 000 at Smith's Roodepoort home.

Le Roux told the commission that all the costs were borne by Bosasa and paid for in cash to avoid leaving a money trail.

He recounted how he met Myeni in the kitchen of her home to provide feedback on the work he and his team were busy with, and how Watson told him to ensure that every request by Mokonyane was dealt with as a priority.

The initial work at Mokonyane's Krugersdorp property included fixing the pool pump, which was causing "the pool to go green all the time" and cleaning up the garden, along with the installation of new security systems and work on electrical issues.

He was instructed to remove serial numbers from the equipment installed and to avoid a situation where it could be traced back to Bosasa.

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Read more on:    bosasa  |  angelo agrizzi  |  state capture inquiry
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