Brian Molefe's bodyguard tells inquiry of regular visits to Gupta residence and stacks of cash in bag
Johannesburg - The Zondo Commission into State Capture heard on Thursday how former Transnet chief executive Brian Molefe regularly visited and had meetings with Ajay Gupta while he was in the driving seat at the parastatal between 2011 and 2014.
The commission heard evidence, through a witness, whose identity has been concealed.
The witness took the inquiry through logsheets he compiled of Molefe's travel records beginning in 2011 and ending in 2012.
Witness 1, as he has been identified, has worked as a close protection officer at Transnet since 1989.
His responsibilities included ensuring that Transnet executives were protected and driven around in the performance of their duties.
The witness explained that he drove Molefe around to the Gupta residence in Saxonwold on several occasions where he met with Ajay Gupta.
The details of the trip which were logged in a timesheet by witness 1 include;
July 18, 2011, he drove Molefe to the Gupta residence in Saxonwold.
July 19, 2011, he drove Molefe to the Gupta residence in Saxonwold.
July 29, 2011, transported Molefe to the Gupta residence.
August 3, 2011, drove Molefe to the Gupta's Saxonwold residence.
September 14, 2011, transported Molefe to the Saxonwold residence of the Guptas.
November 9, 2011, he transported Molefe to the Michael Angelo Hotel in Sandton
February 21, 2012, he transported Molefe to the Gupta residence and the Gupta's Sahara Computer offices in Midrand.
May 28, 2012, he transported Molefe to Saxonwold.
September 5, 2012, he transported Molefe to Saxonwold.
And on September 12, 2012, he also transported Molefe to Saxonwold for the last time.
Witness 1 stopped transporting Molefe to the Gupta residence as he had decided to share the duties with colleagues.
He said in every visit Molefe was meeting with Ajay Gupta and the meetings would take between 20 and 45 minutes.
The witness was in the car while Molefe made the visits.
The witness also told the inquiry that in some of the visits, Molefe would carry a brown bag.
He said on one occasion Molefe had asked him to retrieve a cellphone from his office and he noticed the brown bag filled with R200 notes.
He could not reconcile whether the bag was filled with the money when Molefe had just visited the Gupta residence.
Witness 1 noted that he warned Molefe about the money in the bag and his safety concerns, but the former Transnet CEO brushed off the caution and told him to mind his own business.
"Mr Molefe was visibly upset, he said it was none of my business what was in his bag," the witness recalled.
Witness 1 also recalled that Molefe would send him to run errands for him to deposit cash ranging from between R5000 and R20 000.
"I used to deposit money at ABSA and Standard Bank into various accounts at Carlton Centre. It was usually on 28th and the 5th of the month. The amounts were between R5000 and R20 000.
“He would hand over the money to his PA and sometimes he would call me and ask me to deposit the money," Witness 1 said.
Molefe had served as the CEO of Transnet from 2011 until 2016 when he was appointed as the CEO of Eskom.
Investigations and evidence heard at the commission show that Molefe had irregularly overseen the ballooning of locomotive tender contracts while he served as CEO.
He has been linked to signing favourable deals which benefitted the Gupta family at Eskom and at Transnet.
When former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela released her State of Capture report he noted cellphone footage had placed Molefe at the vicinity of the Gupta residence 58 times.
He broke down in tears while he addressed a press briefing in 2016 denying links to the family.