Magashule's former PA tells state capture inquiry she sought funding from business people

(Netwerk24)
(Netwerk24)
Felix Dlangamandla

Ace Magashule's former personal assistant told the state capture commission of inquiry that she approached Ignatius "Igo" Mpambani, a businessman who was gunned down in Sandton in 2017, for funding.

Moroadi Cholota was Magashule's assistant when he was the premier of the Free State and she identified business people who could help with funding, the commission heard. She also served under the new premier, Sisi Ntobela, until June 2019.

During her testimony on Friday morning, Cholota told inquiry chairperson, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, that when the premier's office received funding requests from students and other people, she and her other colleagues would find assistance.

Mpambani was gunned down and killed in broad daylight while driving his Bentley in Sandton in 2017.

Asked about an email she sent to Mpambani on January 28, 2016 which she asked for R250 000 to be paid to a travel agency, Cholota said she could not remember what the money was for because no proof of payment was placed before her.

Cholota also told the commission that when the premier's office received travel requests from artists or students, she would then request travel funding from business people.

However, evidence leader advocate Baitseng Rangata said she noticed that most of the emails obtained by the commission, shows that Mpambani helped with funding, Cholota responded and said Mpambani was not the only business person she approached. 

She said her laptop had a list of other business people she contacted and that list could be obtained from the office of the premier. 

"The establishment of this request for funding for students has been there long before I even arrived. When I got to the office of the premier, I just continued with what I found, either it is from the data base," she said.

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

During the testimony of former Free State economic development MEC Mxolisi Dukwana, he said: "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 one of the main beneficiaries of the controversial contract to "audit" and "assess" houses with asbestos roofs in the Free State, News24 previously reported. 

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

Cholota was the last witness for this year.

The commission is expected to resume on January 13, 2020.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
When a Covid-19 vaccine for under 16's becomes available, will you be taking your children to get it?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, immediately!
38% - 3492 votes
I'll wait to see how others respond
26% - 2381 votes
No, I don't think they need it
37% - 3380 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
15.08
(-1.06)
ZAR/GBP
21.04
(-1.05)
ZAR/EUR
18.19
(-0.86)
ZAR/AUD
11.74
(-0.53)
ZAR/JPY
0.14
(-0.81)
Gold
1715.40
(-1.18)
Silver
26.17
(-1.90)
Platinum
1172.00
(-1.92)
Brent Crude
62.54
(-1.55)
Palladium
2359.50
(-0.55)
All Share
68326.79
(-0.27)
Top 40
62861.62
(-0.39)
Financial 15
12571.60
(+0.02)
Industrial 25
89680.18
(+0.59)
Resource 10
69225.70
(-1.86)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo