New evidence has emerged of Bosasa staff installing security upgrades at the Cala, Eastern Cape, home of ANC national chairperson and Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe.
Photographs of a Bosasa employee at the property, ostensibly at work installing an expensive CCTV system and perimeter lighting, were provided to News24 by an anonymous source.
Mantashe did not deny or confirm that the pictures depicted his home in Cala when approached for comment on Monday. Instead, he accused News24 of "running a parallel propaganda project".
He called the pending publication of the pictures a "pre-emptive strike", as he planned to take journalists to the properties this coming weekend so that they could "see what is there and what is not there".
Mantashe has consistently denied that electric fencing was installed at any of his properties, despite no allegation being reported to that effect.
"To me, you are used by the Agrizzis for their purpose [sic]. You want my cooperation. I don't cooperate with the enemy," Mantashe said in a text message.
Clues to Cala
A close look at photographs taken at Mantashe's Cala home in 2016 and published by the Daily Dispatch revealed small clues that verified the new pictures as being taken at the same property.
News24 first reported in September 2018 that Mantashe had been on the receiving end of high-end security upgrades at his three properties in Boksburg in Gauteng, and Cala and Elliot in the Eastern Cape.
Mantashe's planned walkabout at his properties with journalists is likely not to reveal the systems Bosasa installed. News24 has previously reported how, in January 2018, Bosasa undertook "Operasie Skoonmaak" (Operation Clean-up), during which security systems they installed were removed. Video footage of Bosasa staff members arriving at the home of ANC MP Vincent Smith is proof of this, and it is believed that the upgrades at Mantashe's home were also removed around the same time.
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Last week, Bosasa employee Richard le Roux testified before the state capture commission of inquiry that he had managed a team of technicians who worked on "Special Projects" – which entailed Le Roux being sent around the country to install security systems at the homes of government officials, including Mantashe, at the behest of Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson, former chief operating officer Angelo Agrizzi and other Bosasa directors.
Le Roux, during his testimony, confirmed the contents of an affidavit he deposed to in November 2017 which first revealed the installations.
According to Le Roux, the value of the work at all three of Mantashe's properties was R300 000.
What we know so far about the Mantashe/Bosasa connection:
- Mantashe disputes the value of the upgrades, and denies that he knew it was Bosasa that undertook the installations;
- Mantashe claims that his ANC security team organised the installations, which were done while he was the party's secretary general;
- Bosasa director Papa Leshabane and Mantashe's son-in-law, Multichoice CEO Calvo Mawela, are close friends;
- Leshabane previously claimed during an interview on eNCA that Mantashe had called him following a break-in at one of his properties, and the installations took place thereafter. When this inconsistency was pointed out to Mantashe and Leshabane, the story quickly changed, with Mantashe accusing Leshabane of lying and the latter rectifying his statement;
- Le Roux's affidavit and testimony revealed that Leshabane had given him the instruction to install the systems at Mantashe's properties. Leshabane has told News24 that neither he nor Bosasa gained any benefit from the installations;
According to Le Roux, Bosasa carried the cost for the installation of CCTV cameras, perimeter lighting and a recording device for the cameras at Mantashe’s Boksburg home.
At his home in Elliot, Le Roux and his team installed an IP-based CCTV system and lighting, and the same at the Cala property.
An IP-based system allows for remote viewing - in other words, the owner of the property can log in on a cellphone, computer or tablet to view footage captured by the system.
Leshabane confirmed that the man photographed in some of the pictures at Mantashe's Cala home, Tshepo Huma, was an employee of Bosasa who reported to Le Roux.
Le Roux and Huma are employees of Bosasa subsidiary, Gobal Technology Systems, previously known as Sondolo IT.
Huma is Leshabane's brother-in-law and, according to sources, was involved in all the "special projects".
According to Leshabane, Huma is "a skilled N4 and A+ qualified technician".
But he pointed out that Le Roux's wife Christine, daughter Barbara, two stepsons Nicholas and Kyle, and brother-in-law Eugene also work for Bosasa.
"Some of these without matric, employed with the instruction of Angelo Agrizzi as a favour for Richard, oftentimes without following internal processes," he said.
Leshabane also pointed out that former Bosasa chief financial officer Andries van Tonder's brother, Leon, also worked for Bosasa, as well as Van Tonder's sister-in-law.
Both Van Tonder brothers have testified before the Zondo commission, revealing further details of alleged corruption at Bosasa.
Frans Vorster's late father and brother were also employed by Bosasa.
Leshabane insisted this information be published, seemingly in aid of emphasising Bosasa's propensity to hire family members.
ALSO READ: Bosasa security upgrades: Mantashe speaks out
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