Minister Gwede Mantashe. Picture: Elmond Jiyane, GCIS
Minister Gwede Mantashe. Picture: Elmond Jiyane, GCIS

Gwede Mantashe Foundation fires COO embroiled in tender corruption with Bidvest subsidiary

By Sihle Mavuso Time of article published Jan 26, 2021

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Durban – The Gwede Mantashe Foundation has parted ways with its chief operations officer, Caswell Mokoena, who was implicated in a tender controversy just a week ago.

The not-for-profit organisation announced it has parted ways with Mokoena to allow him to focus on his case before the courts.

Mokoena is a director of Ntlokholo, a company which allegedly received a tender from Voltex, a subsidiary of the Bidvest group.

It was alleged some of the R935 000 received as part of payment ended up in the coffers of the foundation – a charge the foundation denies, saying it does not have a bank account.

In denying the charge, the foundation said all monies solicited went directly to the cause instead of it receiving the donation.

The worker who red-flagged the payment was fired and has since taken the matter to court arguing he was unfairly dismissed.

In the wake of this, the foundation said it did not take kindly to it being associated with it abusing its brand to score benefits, and thus parted ways with Mokoena.

“The foundation has not received any form of direct or indirect payments from the companies mentioned in the reports. Therefore, where allegations of irregular conduct or payments being made to an individual or entity who may happen to be associated with the foundation, should be laid at the door of that person and/or entity.

“The foundation is strongly against any individual associated with it who may abuse its official brand, any of its material, and the position they hold in it, to act in a manner that harms its image and standing and, thereby, undermine its objective. In this sense, it was erroneous of Mr Caswell Mokoena, as the COO of the foundation, to have used the foundation's letterhead in the manner that he did.

“The foundation together with Mr Mokoena have concluded that Mr Mokoena be relieved of his duties, so as to allow him to deal with this matter,” the foundation said.

While the foundation slammed attempts to implicate its patron, mineral resources and energy minister, Gwede Mantashe, the DA on Sunday called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to fire him from his Cabinet.

The official opposition claimed that Voltex, the company at the centre of the scandal, claim in court papers that the payments to Mokoena were related to the National Solar Water Heating Programme – a project that is administered by the Department of Energy (Mantashe’s department), Ntlokholo is not involved in the solar water heating tender.

Political Bureau

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