PRETORIA – Businessman Lawrence Mulaudzi, who has been heavily implicated by the James Noko (whistleblower) emails over alleged improprieties at the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), on Wednesday said the R300 000 forwarded to Pretty Louw, came directly from him.
Mulaudzi was testifying before the PIC Commission of Inquiry, led by retired Judge Lex Mpati, where he categorically stated that the payments did not come from Ascendis or Kefolile.
“I further record that I did not and do not, have any relationship with Ms Louw. When we met after (the PIC chief executive) Dr Dan Matjila’s intervention, I recognised that I had met her before at a social environment. I did not have any other dealings with her,” said Mulaudzi.
Mulaudzi also told the commission that he was not forced to forward the money to Louw, however, he could not say "no" to the PIC chief executive.
He also said it was known in the business space that Matjila's influence was quite significant.
As the commission further questioned him if he was under pressure from the PIC chief executive to help Louw, Mulaudzi said he was under no pressure from Matjila. "In fact at that time it was quite a privilege to get a call from someone like Dr Dan."
“I wish to categorically state that I have never had a personal relationship with Matjila. I knew him as CEO of the PIC. So, when he made that request to me it was only natural for me to comply with his request as I have been funded by the PIC in my business ventures,” said Mulaudzi.
He told the commission that the payments to Louw were made in two instalments of R150 000. He said at no point did he regard this as a loan as it was based on a request by Matjila.
“There was never any exchange about this being a loan or that I needed to discuss terms of such a loan with Ms Louw,” said Mulaudzi.
Mulaudzi insisted that he did not have any other relationship with Louw and Matjila whatsoever.
BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE