Zondo recommends Mantashe be probed for corruption

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The State Capture report said Gwede Mantashe supported former Transnet CEO Siyabonga Gama despite him facing serious allegations.     Photo: Gallo Images/Luba Lesolle
The State Capture report said Gwede Mantashe supported former Transnet CEO Siyabonga Gama despite him facing serious allegations. Photo: Gallo Images/Luba Lesolle


Mineral Resources and Energy minister Gwede Mantashe should be probed for corruption after he received security installations for no charge from facilities management company Bosasa, according to the latest report from the state capture commission of inquiry.

Mantashe was then the ANC’s secretary-general and did not hold any position in government. But commission chairperson and acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, in the third report into state capture, found that the transactions amounted to “gain of whatsoever nature” as contemplated in the terms of reference of the inquiry.

Zondo said: 

In the circumstances, there is a reasonable prospect that further investigation will uncover a prima facie case against Mantashe in respect of the offence of corruption.

“There are reasonable grounds for suspecting that Mantashe accepted or agreed to accept gratification,” reads the report.

Zondo also recommended an investigation into the identities of the ANC officials who were involved in arranging the party’s so-called “war rooms” in the country’s previous elections and sponsored by Bosasa.

The report reads: 

There is a reasonable prospect that further investigation in that regard will uncover a prima facie case and the matter is referred for further investigation accordingly.

Mantashe had told the commission during his witness testimony that his receipt of the cameras in three properties in Gauteng and the Eastern Cape was an entirely innocent one, borne out of arrangements made between his security person, Mzonke Nyakaza, and a family friend, Papa Leshabane – who was then a director at Bosasa.

READ: ANC to send two delegations to the Zondo commission

Mantashe also downplayed his capacity for influence while ANC secretary-general, characterising the position as “the secretary-general of an NGO called the ANC”.

He compared the security installations to “traditional intra-family support or a traditional project, akin to contributions for a traditional wedding ceremony”.

But Zondo said:

The provision of free security installations was manifestly part of the corrupt modus operandi of Bosasa and its directors, including Leshabane himself.

He said Leshabane, despite being served with a notice, had not come forward to testify that this arrangement was “different from the others and was an altruistic attempt on his part at assisting a family friend”. “Whilst the value of the installations may be in dispute, the fact of the installations, and the fact that they were not paid for by Mantashe, is common cause,” said Zondo.

The commission also probed whether the late Bosasa boss Gavin Watson and Leshabane’s perspectives was to use Mantashe to influence anyone holding a government post.

READ: The 'unlikely' state capture aides

“In this regard, there is no evidence of a particular, named office-bearer they sought to influence through Mantashe.”

However, said Zondo, the evidence that stood out was that Mantashe was seen by the leadership of Bosasa as a “brilliant connection”. “Objectively, this is borne out. The majority party, through its majority in parliament, wields very substantial constitutional power.

READ: Mantashe won’t talk about Bosasa’s R300K work on his houses just yet

“Mantashe was at the relevant times the secretary-general of the majority party and a member of its national executive committee (the NEC). On Mantashe’s own version, whilst the president of the republic of South Africa appoints ministers, he must consult with the NEC before doing so.”

Zondo said Bosasa was a business organisation that was heavily invested in securing tenders from government departments and organs of state. “It sought to be able, through Mantashe and the inducements and gain provided to him, to influence the leadership of those departments and organs of state, a leadership drawn almost exclusively from the ranks of the ANC and falling within the categories of public office bearers.”

Zondo said Mantshe’s characterisation of the ANC as a mere NGO did not withstand scrutiny.

“It is the majority party in parliament, with the levers of legislative and executive power at its disposal through its elected members of parliament and the persons it deploys to positions of executive leadership.”


Setumo Stone 

Political Journalist

+27 11 713 9001
69 Kingsway Rd, Auckland Park

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