Former SSA operative denies receiving kickbacks
Durban - A FORMER “spy” and Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) head of security has denied claims that she received kickbacks and any links to the SA Revenue Service (Sars) Rouge Unit.
Dr Mandisa Mokoena was responding to allegations made by journalist Marianne Thamm in the Daily Maverick published this past weekend titled “Protecting the president: Preparations for Zuma’s imperial presidency began at least in 2008”.
In the article, Thamm sketches out Mokwena’s central role in how “former president Jacob Zuma and his allies set about creating a shadow state even before 2009, when he took office”.
“One error would be understandable but the whole report is full of persistent lies and distortions – proving that the report’s aim was clearly to taint, smear and destroy Dr Mokwena’s name,” said the family of Mokwena in a statement.
“The toxicologist programme had been facilitated by SSA (State Security Agency) operative Mandisa Mokwena, the commission heard, who had allowed a company she had registered to be used for the ’large amounts of cash’ that needed to be pumped into the project. Mokwena later headed Sars’ risk management division and was appointed in 2019 to head Prasa’s security division where she currently spearheads a R5-billion investment programme,” wrote Thamm.
To these claims, Mokwena, who reiterated that she “already deposed an answering affidavit refuting the false allegations made against her” said that Thamm was deliberately lying “to suit a particular narrative”.
“Dr Mandisa Mokwena has never ’facilitated’ nor been involved in any toxicology programme. She has no company registered to be used ’for the large amounts of cash’ to be pumped into the (toxicology) project. The statement reported by the media is patently false and in a series of distortions and deliberate lies, Ms Thamm tries to link Dr Mokwena with the Sars Rogue Unit stories,” the family further elaborated in the statement.
But Daily Maverick Editor-in-Chief Branko Brkic said the publication would be sticking to its guns and that Mokwena was more than welcome to cross-examine those who had given evidence at the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture.
“Our reportage is based on claims made and in proceedings at the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture which have been reported widely on, not only in the Daily Maverick. If Ms Mokwena takes issue with evidence given there, we suggest she cross-examine those who have given that evidence. We shall report on Ms Mokwena’s rebuttals at that time.”
The family of Mokwena further denied being a friend of the estranged former first lady, Thobeka Zuma, saying “Daily Maverick reported this persistent lie for a while to suit their false narrative and propaganda”.
To this claim, the Daily Maverick was able to attach several articles still available in the public domain referencing the friendship with the former first lady.
“With regard to Ms Mokwena’s friendship or business dealings with Mrs Thobeka Zuma, this information has been in the public domain for several years and has never been challenged by Ms Mokwena. We are very happy to cover Ms Mokwena’s legal team’s cross-examination of witnesses,” said Brkic.