A company that allegedly used President Jacob Zuma’s brother for fronting is being investigated by the Hawks for major tender irregularities, including giving money and gifts to high-ranking officers within police supply chain management.
Former supply chain management heads Lieutenant-Generals Hamilton Hlela and Matthews Siwundla and Major-General Stefanus Terblanche are at the centre of the Hawks investigation, which sources say could involve more than R1 billion in tainted contracts.
The Midway Two group of companies, which had a decade-long monopoly of cleaning, labour and security contracts, has been at the centre of a two-year probe by the Anti-Corruption Task Team – consisting of investigators from the Special Investigating Unit, Hawks and Asset Forfeiture Unit.
The Sunday Tribune can reveal that the Hawks have interviewed several former employees at the company who have told them, in sworn statements, that in addition to cash payments, top police officials received regular deliveries of meat.
One said about 30 sheep a month were allegedly slaughtered and delivered to the homes of the implicated police officials, in addition to cash payments.
“Whatever they wanted, they would get because these guys were saying thank you,” the source said.
While it is not clear how much the contracts were worth, two sources suggested the fraudulent contracts could reach the billion-rand mark.
“It was a lot of money. It must have been above a billion. These people had contracts for more than nine years,” the source said.
Many former employees say they fear for their safety because of the close relationship police officials had with the family that owned the Midway Two companies.
Daan Scholtz and his sons, Jason and Wayne, are members of the DJJ Scholtz Trust, which recently concluded a deal to sell the Midway group to President Zuma’s brother Michael, ANC MP Richard Mdakane and KZN businessman Prince Brayce Mthimkhulu. Mdakane is now chairman of the board.
In February, it was reported that Zuma had no idea he was buying the company and did not know how he could owe a portion of R64 million from the soured deal.
Mthimkhulu accused the company’s former owner of using the three black businessmen to win lucrative tenders before dumping them.
Meanwhile, former director and shareholder Maria Jeme is gearing up for a legal battle with the company over alleged fronting.
Retrenched and offered R350 000 for her shares, Jeme said her holdings in three of the group’s companies were each worth millions.
One source said the group would approach African employees and make them shareholders “on paper” only. - Dianne Hawker