IDC loan to energy firm in spotlight at state capture inquiry
Johannesburg - The Zondo commission this week wrapped up hearing evidence from the aviation sector in its state capture investigation.
On Friday the commission heard from the chief risk officer at the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) Mark Phakamile Mainganya.
Mainganya explained in detail the corporation's measures in awarding funding. The IDC funds developing organisations and is often seen as a source of funding by up and coming enterprises.
The IDC's advancing of a loan to a company called the EML came under the spotlight. The corporation awarded the company R12.5 million in funding in 2017.
It was revealed at the commission that the IDC had been unaware that EML Energy had been providing excess fuel to the SA Express, which it had a contract with.
Mainganya told the commission that the IDC was unaware of EML supplying too much fuel.
EML had approached the corporation for more funding, however, this request was never approved.
Other aviation-related evidence that the commission heard this week was in relation to SA Express and a dodgy tender.
On Thursday, the commission continued hearing aviation-related evidence in its state capture investigation.
The director at Neon Solutions Vivien Natasen took the stand.
Natasen had admitted during his first appearance in July that his company had received R10 million from Van Wyk. He said he did not know that the money was the proceeds of possible corruption and kept the money as a favour to Van Wyk.
Natasen explained on Thursday that he had made a cash payment of R300 000 to Van Wyk after he requested it to purchase a vintage car. He insisted that he did not find it unusual that the former SA Express executive had requested cash as he had the money available.
The inquiry also heard that a former witness had fled the country fearing for her safety.
Evidence leader Kate Hofmeyr made an opening address on Thursday and read an affidavit from Babadi Tlatsana’s lawyer. The affidavit details that Tlatsana had fled the country because she feared for her safety.
She had testified in June and told the commission of a dodgy 2015 tender deal that her company, Koroneka Trading and Projects, had won with SA express. The contract was to supply ground services.
Tlatsana detailed how SA express former executive Brian Van Wyk had used Koroneka for corrupt dealings. She said that van Wyk was in control of the company’s accounts.
Hofmeyr read from the affidavit and stated; "We communicated with her lawyer who was present during her testimony and he has indicated that there were threats made and intimidation to Mrs Tlasana after her evidence at the commission and the consequence of which is that in fear for her life she has left the republic".
"When the commission received this information it took it very seriously. We have engaged our investigators and they are updating us regularly on this. But as matters currently stand, it does appear that Mrs Tlatsana is not within the republic,” she said.
Tlatsana's lawyer does not know where she has fled to.