Bosasa paid in cash for upgrades for Mantashe and co, #StateCaptureInquiry told
Politics / 31 January 2019, 9:35pm / Getrude Makhafola
Johannesburg - Bosasa, now known as African Global Operations, installed security upgrades costing R300 000 at three properties owned by ANC chairperson and Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe and that of other high ranking officials over the years, the state capture commission of inquiry heard on Thursday.
Bosasa employee Richard Le Roux, an IT specialist, said he led a "special project team" that did work on properties belonging to top African National Congress (ANC) officials and ministers. Bosasa strictly used cash to pay suppliers for the supplies to do the upgrades at the properties of high ranking officials, and used code names for the projects, he said.
"[Bosasa executive] Papa Leshabane informed me that the properties belonged to Mantashe. The cost of the work done, at nearly R300 000, was paid by Bosasa. None of the beneficiaries in the special projects paid Bosasa for the work done," Le Roux said.
His team installed closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras and lighting at Mantashe's Boksburg home in Gauteng; at a farm in Elliot, Eastern Cape; and at a third property in Cala, in the Eastern Cape.
Other beneficiaries of Bosasa's special treatment at their properties were Environmental Affairs Minister, Nomvula Mokonyane; former South African Airways (SAA) board chairwoman, Dudu Myeni, who also chairs the Jacob Zuma Foundation; former prisons boss Linda Mti; ANC member of Parliament (MP) Vincent Smith; Correctional Services Deputy Minister Thabang Makwetla; a Pretoria chief magistrate, Desmond Nair; and former Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) head of procurement, Mbulelo Gingcana.
All have since denied any wrongdoing.
Mantashe testified before the Zondo-led commission in November last year. His testimony was on the aftermath of the shutting down of bank accounts belonging to the fugitive Gupta family. After giving testimony, Mantashe reiterated to reporters that Bosasa never installed security systems at his properties.
On Thursday, Le Roux testified that the cameras installed at Smith's home have since been removed. A video showing technicians removing security cameras at Smith's home emerged last year. Last year, the MP rubbished reports that Bosasa did installations at his Roodepoort home.
"I recently went past Smith's property chairperson, the cameras we installed have been removed and replaced. I do not know who did the installation again," Le Roux said.
Smith's installation by Bosasa cost R200 000, said Le Roux.
He corroborated previous testimonies at the commission on how Mokonyane's needs were prioritised by Bosasa. Not only is Mokonyane alleged to have received groceries, meat, and alcohol as gifts from the company as stated by former chief operations officer (COO) Angelo Agrizzi -- her daughter allegedly got cars hired by the company for her to use.
Ongoing maintenance at Mokonyane's Krugersdorp home was done over the years, following the installation of an electric fence, a CCTV system, a generator, pool pump, and once-off garden clean up.
Le Roux said: "I would get a call from [Bosasa chief executive officer (CEO) Gavin] Watson or Agrizzi to attend to Mokonyane's house. Sometimes I would be alerted by Mokonyane's personal assistant, Sandy, through text messages to go fix something at the minister's house."
He testified how he was instructed to delete camera footage showing any visits by ANC officials at the Bosasa premises.
"I was in charge of head office security cameras and the maintenance of the camera server... I was instructed on numerous times that every time a VIP or VVIP visited the premises, I should delete the footage on the camera server...the instruction came from either Agrizzi or Gavin Watson," said Le Roux.
He said he could not recall every high ranking person that arrived at the premises, but remembered deleting footage in which he saw former president Jacob Zuma accompanied by Myeni and now Police Minister Bheki Cele.
Le Roux said he was later removed from manning the security cameras as "he could no longer be trusted".
Le Roux's wife and their two sons are also employed at Bosasa and live at the company premises in Krugersdorp.