Where did Zwane adviser get R10m for Tegeta deal?

2016-11-04 17:07
Eskom (Gianluigi Guercia, AFP, file)

Eskom (Gianluigi Guercia, AFP, file)

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Johannesburg - The special adviser to Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane, whose company helped the Guptas buy Optimum Coal Holdings (OCH), wants to take the public protector's “State of Capture” report on review.

According the report, Albatime, a company of which Kubentheran Moodley is the sole director, contributed R10m toward the purchase of OCH by Tegeta Exploration and Resources - a Gupta-owned company - earlier this year. Moodley is a special adviser to Zwane.

Zwane is mentioned in the report because of the alleged role he played in convincing Glencore, OCH's former owner, to sell the mine group to the Guptas.

Since the Guptas' acquisition of OCH, the company's mines have secured lucrative coal supply contracts from state-owned power utility Eskom. Eskom has come under fire for prepayments it made to Tegeta before receiving even an ounce of coal.

READ: #StateCaptureReport: Key players, violations and what’s next

According to former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s report, some R910m which Eskom paid Tegeta was channelled to the Guptas' acquisition of OCH.

According to financial records contained in the report, Albatime was one of 18 companies that paid a total of R2.4bn into Tegeta's accounts at the Bank of Baroda between December 2015 and April 2016.

Most of this money was used to fund the OCH transaction, which cost Tegeta R2.1bn.

Albatime's role in Tegeta's acquisition of OCH becomes doubly problematic considering the fact that Moodley's wife, Devapushpum Viroshini Naidoo, was on Eskom's tender committee at the time coal supply agreements between Eskom and Tegeta were discussed.

According to Madonsela’s report, though, Naidoo did declare her husband's position as a "part-time adviser" to Zwane, and that she had been an employee of Albatime at some of the Eskom board meetings.

‘No money paid to Tegeta, Optimum’

Moodley said he was studying Madonsela’s report and would prepare an appropriate response in due course and in the correct forum, if necessary.

“To the extent that any wrongdoing has been imputed to me, I deny that this is the case and will deal with all allegations as aforesaid.”

He added that Albatime was never a shareholder of either Tegeta or OCH. The company never did work at Eskom and never paid money to either Tegeta or Optimum.

DOWNLOAD the full State of Capture report here

Naidoo told News24 that Madonsela never questioned her.

"She obviously spoke to Eskom, but I resigned from the Eskom board in July, so she should have contacted me directly. I would have gladly answered her questions."

Naidoo denied that her husband's company had any dealings with Tegeta.

"I don't have shares in this company and I don't have R10m to have bought any.

"This has been devastating to me as a professional and the report is inaccurate. Nobody wants to talk to me. It is so unfair. We are being judged by the whole country and it is untrue."

Naidoo said she was looking forward to the inquiry into the report so she could give her side of the story.

Strange company

According to company records, one of Moodley's former directors in Albatime is a company called "Green Bird Africa", whose principal director, according to CIPC records, is a Nigerian national with a Master’s qualification in political science.

Another former Albatime director told News24 that he had been friends with Moodley and was asked to be a director of the company in case they decided to actively go into business together.

“As far as I know it was a shelf company. It never traded. It was set up as a vehicle in case we did decide to do business,” he said. He did not want to be named.

The man said that when the company was formed, they were all young and had lots of lofty ideas on what businesses to start. He moved away from the social group to start his own business and resigned as a director of Albatime.

It is not the first time that Moodley has been implicated in a questionable transaction.

The Sunday Times reported in August that Moodley stood to make R383m from a debt collection deal with the SABC. Moodley also allegedly played golf with Gupta-associate Salim Essa, according to the newspaper.

Internal SABC documents seen by the Sunday Times showed that acting SABC CEO James Aguma awarded the debt collection contract to Moodley's company, LornaVision, without putting it out to tender.

Read more on:    public protector  |  eskom  |  mosebenzi zwane  |  state capture

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