- Nomvula Mokonyane, who is before the state capture commission, has answered questions about whether she was gifted an Aston Martin for her 50th birthday, after questions were raised about how she paid a R2.2 million deposit for the luxury car.
- She has been testifying before Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.
- The former minister was giving Bosasa related testimony.
Former environmental affairs minister Nomvula Mokonyane was allegedly gifted an Aston Martin worth R3 million on her 50th birthday.
Mokonyane, who was testifying before the Zondo commission on Thursday, was asked how she managed to afford to pay about R2.2 million as a deposit for the vehicle. She was Gauteng Premier at the time.
The former minister told inquiry chairperson Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo that she and her husband agreed on what she should get for her birthday. And because her husband was pursuing a contract with power utility Eskom, Thaba Mufamadi, who she said was a family friend, "made a contribution" towards the vehicle.
The news about Mokonyane's luxury vehicle was first disclosed by private contractor Charl Le Roux, who said he visited the former minister's home on a number of occasions for some repair work.
He said when he entered the premises he saw the Aston Martin.
As for her husband's business, Mokonyane said he had people who "were actually mentoring and supporting him and these were the people who were coaching him and could see that things were coming okay; that this is going to be a good business and it stands a good chance of growing".
"My husband made an arrangement with friends who are not doing business with government."
Mokonyane claimed Mufamadi was going to get his money back once her husband's business grew.
"We will have to pay him. If this thing doesn't go anywhere which I think it would be so unfair, it would he so unfair because you could see how he (her husband) was short-changed in the bid at Eskom," she said.
She said she also contributed about R800 000 to R900 000 towards the vehicle. Earlier on Thursday, Mokonyane also confirmed to the commission that there was indeed a 40th birthday "dinner" at a guesthouse in Krugersdorp, but disputed it was a party.
"I can confirm that as I said in my previous testimony here, that there has been several parties at that place and various meetings and upon reading Mr (Frederick Hendrik) Coetzee's statement, I can then confirm that I went for a private dinner and not the break your leg birthday party that was said by Mr (Angelo) Agrizzi."
"I can confirm there was a dinner. It was not a party as it was said by Mr Agrizzi. It was a surprise thing that happened at the venue," she said.
She told Zondo that she did not know who paid for her birthday dinner. Coetzee was the owner of the Victorian Guesthouse in Krugersdorp.
When he appeared before Zondo, he said before the function, Agrizzi asked for a meeting to inquire about hosting a function and also mentioned it would be for the then Safety and Security MEC in Gauteng and that Bosasa would pay for it.
The businessman also told Zondo that it was the first high profile government function hosted by the guesthouse. He said initially, they were expecting to cater for 80 guests. And then the number increased to 120. However, on the day of the function, the number rose to 174.
During her testimony on Thursday, Mokonyane described the dinner as a "sitting arrangement".
She added: "My assertion was on break a leg, 50th party which I never had. My 50th party was about the journey of my life."
Asked about the number of people who attended the party, Mokonyane said: "I think there is a bit of confusion and exaggeration on his submissions."
Earlier last year, Agrizzi alleged that Mokonyane received cash payments from Bosasa. He said the company also paid for maintenance at her home, including a garden service, repairs to electric fencing and installation of a new camera system.
He alleged the former minister received R50 000 a month in cash from Bosasa and that she had received gifts, including meat and expensive alcohol, for her family.
However, Mokonyane, during her first appearance repeatedly said allegations made against her by Agrizzi were extremely defamatory and full of contradictions.