'I have had no dealings with Bosasa' - Gwede Mantashe

2019-03-15 16:57
Gwede Mantashe (Netwerk24)

Gwede Mantashe (Netwerk24)

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"Since appointed minister, I have had no dealings with Bosasa."

This is Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe's response to a written parliamentary question from EFF MP Yoliswa Yako.

Yako asked if Mantashe was informed that former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi implicated him in "testimony made under oath and in written documents" before the Zondo commission into state capture. 

"If so, were the allegations made by Mr Agrizzi in respect of him true?" Yako asked.

She also asked if he declared any material gifts received from Bosasa.

"Mr Agrizzi did not mentioned (sic) my name once in nine days in the commission. Since appointed minister, I have had no dealings with Bosasa," was Mantashe's full, terse response.

While he might not have been mentioned in Agrizzi's explosive testimony before the commission, his name cropped up in relation to Bosasa, which has been renamed African Global Operations (AGO).

Bosasa employee Richard le Roux testified before the commission that he had managed a team of technicians who worked on "Special Projects" – which entailed him crisscrossing the country to install security systems at the homes of government officials, including Mantashe, at the behest of Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson, Agrizzi and other Bosasa directors.

According to Le Roux, the value of the work at all three of Mantashe's properties was R300 000.

After these revelations, News24 exclusively published photographs of Bosasa staff at Mantashe's home in Cala.

Mantashe did not deny or confirm that the pictures were of his home in Cala when he was approached for comment at the time, but rather accused News24 of "running a parallel propaganda project".

Cala, Gwede Mantashe, Bosasa

 Bosasa employee Tshepo Huma, a qualified technician, poses for a photograph outside the Cala, Eastern Cape home of Gwede Mantashe. Huma is also Bosasa director Papa Leshabane's brother in law. (Supplied)

News24 first reported in September 2018 that Mantashe was among the ANC members who benefited from Bosasa's largesse in the form of security equipment. 

President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed him to Cabinet in February 2018. He is number three on the ANC's list for the coming national election.

Motsoaledi denial

In response to a similar question, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi denied having ever contacted Bosasa and said he was not interested in getting the Department of Health involved with the company because he had read the stories about their alleged corruption.

Motsoaledi said he was never informed, nor did he ever see or hear of anything about Agrizzi implicating him in anything under oath. 

"However, I saw somewhere on social media a list said to have been released by Agrizzi, whereby it says I contacted Bosasa and made enquiries about some systems or services they offer," reads Motsoaledi's reply.

"The statement that I contacted Bosasa is in fact false. I never contacted Bosasa."

Motsoaledi revealed that the former mayor of Mogale City, Mpho Nawa, contacted him in 2015 and informed him that he had been invited by a company in Mogale City to view hospital information management systems. 

"He said he told them that he understood nothing about health information systems and at any rate, had no jurisdiction over hospitals.

"The mayor then invited me to visit that company. On arrival, I discovered that the company was in fact Bosasa," Motsoaledi said.

"I had thought that Bosasa was only a catering company. But I found out there when they then showed me the systems, that they do many other things, other than catering. However regardless of their systems I was definitely not interested in getting the Department of Health involved with them in any other way because I read lots of stories about their irregularities with the catering contract in [the Department of] Correctional Services."

Motsoaledi said he declared nothing "because [he] received nothing in the form of a gift or financial benefit or any other way from Bosasa".

Read more on:    bosasa  |  aaron motsoaledi  |  gwede mantashe
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