DA lays corruption charges against Brown, Peters, Mahumapelo after Zondo commission testimony

2019-06-24 20:25
DA spokesperson on state enterprises Natasha Mazzone, outside the Cape Town Central Police Station where she laid corruption charges relating to SA Express on Monday. (Jan Gerber/News24)

DA spokesperson on state enterprises Natasha Mazzone, outside the Cape Town Central Police Station where she laid corruption charges relating to SA Express on Monday. (Jan Gerber/News24)

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The DA has laid corruption charges against former ministers Lynne Brown and Dipuo Peters as well as former North West premier Supra Mahumapelo and former officials at South African Express (SAX).

This after allegations of bribery emerged last week at the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture.

On Monday, DA MP and spokesperson for public enterprises Natasha Mazzone deposited an affidavit and asked the police to investigate whether Section 3 of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act (PCCA) was contravened.

Mazzone based her complaint on explosive testimony that was heard before the commission last week, which implicated Brown, the minister of state enterprises at the time, and Peters, the former minister of transport, as the alleged recipients of bribes.

This is related to a contract of R400m between SAX and the North West government, of which Mahumapelo was the premier. Mahumapelo has since become an MP, with the ANC announcing that he will be the chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Tourism.

Also named in the testimony before the commission was Inathi Ntshanga, the former chief executive officer of SAX and Brian van Wyk, the former commercial manager of SAX.

SAX security manager Timothy Ngwenya provided the commission with audio recordings, which were made by Babadi Tlatsana, the owner of Koreneka Trading and Projects, which held a contract for ground handling at two airports in North West, at Mahikeng and Pilanesberg. She gave the recordings to Ngwenya in 2016.

Koroneka was awarded a R51m contract involving SAX to handle ground services at the airports.

Fin24 reported on Friday that the commission heard that the SAX contract to operate the airports was awarded without following the due procurement process.

The recordings were of a meeting Tlatsana had with Van Wyk in May 2016.

On Saturday, Tlatsana told the commission that she realised at some point that her business had been hijacked and that she feared for her life, Fin24 reported. 

Tlatsana's recording of a meeting she had at a Spur with Van Wyk came before the commission on Saturday. 

"I asked [Van Wyk] why there were all these transactions [from the Koroneka business account]. How will we account for it? He said he already told me months before that the money will be 'to take care of people'," Tlatsana said. 

She added that Van Wyk indicated R10m had to go to Brown and R10m to Peters and the premier must get R10m, but he was getting only R5m. Asked by Zondo whether Van Wyk indicated whether the ministers had indeed received any of these monies, Tlatsana responded that he did not make any such indication.

READ MORE ON FIN24: R20m had to go to 'the ministers', Zondo Commission hears

Mazzone wants the police to investigate, among other things, Mahumapelo's role in the allocation of the contract to Koroneka Trading, and Brown and Peters' relationship with Mahumapelo, Van Wyk and Ntshanga relating to the contract.

After laying the complaint, Mazzone said the police would decide where they would direct this case to, how much of it was investigated in Cape Town and how much was directed elsewhere. 

"I've made this affidavit as a concerned citizen but also as a Member of Parliament that represents a substantial and sizeable constituency in our country and also as the shadow minister of state enterprises as SA Express is one of the state-owned entities and one of those we know had been very badly influenced by state capture," she said.

"We've seen today, it is a difficult case to open, because the extent and range of the corruption happens over three provinces, it happens over a period of time. 

"But the one good thing is, and I hope this will assist the police certainly in their investigation, is that there is a tape recording that was continuously referred to and I look forward to the police gaining access to that particular tape recording."

Read more on:    da  |  dipuo peters  |  supra mahumapelo  |  lynne brown
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