Magashule was a 'blesser to many', Dukwana tells state capture inquiry

Former Free State economic development MEC Mxolisi Dukwana (Screengrab)
Former Free State economic development MEC Mxolisi Dukwana (Screengrab)

Former Free State economic development MEC Mxolisi Dukwana labelled ANC secretary general Ace Magashule a "blesser to many" for allegedly sourcing money from the public purse through an asbestos auditing contract.

Dukwana told the state capture inquiry on Wednesday: "Mr Magashule was simply a blesser to many due to payments advanced by Mr [Ignatius] Mpambani from monies corruptly and fraudulently sourced from state coffers through the asbestos project."

Mpambani was gunned down and killed in broad daylight while driving his Bentley in Sandton in 2017. He was one of the main beneficiaries of the controversial contract to "audit" and "assess" houses with asbestos roofs in the Free State. 

READ: 'Magashule should be behind bars', Dukwana tells state capture inquiry

A joint venture between engineering consultancy firm Blackhead Consulting and Mpambani's company, Diamond Hill Trading 71, scored a R255m contract in 2014.

Dukwana told the commission the appointment letter stipulated 300 000 asbestos-roofed houses would be audited, assessed and GPS-ed for R850 per unit, with R255m to be paid.

He said a quick calculation showed those involved had started with the R255m figure, which they divided by 850 to get to the 300 000-unit figure.

"If the asbestos units go beyond 300 000, what would be the case?

"The Constitution demands of a government to be efficient, effective and economical in dealing with the public purse.

"Every municipality has ward committees, it has ward councillors. This could have been gathered using the people who are there at a local level without paying a cent."

Dukwana also testified each time Mpambani's company received money from the Free State housing department, Magashule's staff - Ipeleng Morake and Moroadi Cholota - would inform the former premier.

READ: I stand ready to face Magashule in any court, ex-Free State MEC tells Zondo commission

"At the behest of Mr Magashule, Mr Mpambani paid some monies for some students studying through various universities here and abroad," Dukwana claimed.

Asked what he meant when he referred to Magashule as a "blesser", he said a blesser was more like "Father Christmas".

"Just to avoid being seen as old and coming to the new generation a blesser would fit well as opposed to Father Christmas." 

"Who would be the blessee in this context?" inquiry chairperson Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo asked.

BOOK EXTRACT: Gangster State – The ANC's asbestos benefits

Dukwana referred to Refiloe Mokoena, the suspended SARS legal head.

He told Justice Zondo that Mokoena had sent an email to Magashule requesting him to settle her daughter's university account.

Dukwana said Mokoena sent the email with attached documents showing how much the fees were in US dollars. She apparently asked the former premier if he would also be settling her daughter's travelling and living expenses.

Dukwana told Justice Zondo that Mokoena acted as a judge in the Free State and Gauteng.

"It is clear this [email] was directed to the premier and they had met and discussed this, and she was following up on this. She was asking for payment of schooling." 

Dukwana said one would think that normal processes would be followed if one requested school funding.

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