R20m had to go to 'the ministers', Zondo Commission hears

The names of both Lynne Brown, former minister of public enterprises, and Dipuo Peters, former minister of transport, were mentioned at the Zondo Commission into State Capture on Saturday.

Babadi Tlatsana, director of Koroneka Trading and Projects, told the Zondo Commission of her dealings with Brian van Wyk, a former SA Express general manager of commercial.

Tlatsana's company was awarded a R51m contract involving SA Express. Koroneka was appointed to handle ground services at the Mafikeng and Pilanesberg airports. Fin24 reported on Friday that the Zondo Commission heard that the SA Express contract to operate the airports was awarded without following due procurement process.

Earlier on Saturday Tlatsana told the commission that she realised at some point that her business had been hijacked.

A recording made by Tlatsana of a meeting she had at a Spur with Van Wyk came before the commission on Saturday. The whole conversation was about "the business of the airports", according to Tlatsana.

According to Tlatsana, the gist of the conversation she had with Van Wyk at the Spur that day, according to her understanding, was because Van Wyk realised that he was no longer in control of her business and had lost control of it. That is why he wanted to persuade her to enter into an agreement with him to continue to play a role in her business, in her view.

"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'," said Tlatsana.

She said Van Wyk wrote down some letters on a note which were meant to indicate Brown and Peters were referred to. The diagram that Van Wyk wrote down also makes reference to a former premier of the North West province, according to the witness. The diagram scribbled by Van Wyk - according to Tlatsana - was shown to the commission and Tlatsana was asked to explain what and who the writings referred to. 

The recording reflects Van Wyk asking Tlatsana if she is "with him". Van Wyk also said the R20m payment needed is running short of R5m "to be complete".

Van Wyk indicates that he was said to meet with a man that same day to give the man money for an important person. This, according to Tlatsana, referred to former North West premier Supra Mahumapelo.  

Tlatsana said Van Wyk indicated that R10m had to go to Brown and R10m to Peters and that the premier must get R10m but he is 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.

Tlatsana said Van Wyk also indicated the amounts of money that he and she (Tlatsana) would get.

Earlier she described Van Wyk as an "arrogant bully".
 
According to Tlatsana, Van Wyk told her that he has a lot of support from the ANC. Tlatsana testified that she kept quiet about what was happening in her company as she feared for her life.

"His (Van Wyk's) presentation (to her at the Spur) was that he was in trouble and 'these people' want their money - make it available so we can pay them. As far as I remember I did not promise him anything," Tlatsana told Zondo.

"He said he was not fair to me and now he will just tell me actually what is going on."

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