Joburg mayor Makhubo denies any link to tech firm’s business proposal emails
Share this article:
Johannesburg - Former ANC Greater Johannesburg Region and City of Joburg mayor Geoff Makhubo says he can’t answer why technology company EOH sent him business proposals that did not concern him.
He has also denied that the timing of the emails were suspicious considering it was shortly after EOH’s former business development executive, Patrick Makubedu, made considerable donations to the ANC.
Makhubo is currently giving evidence at the State Capture Commission of Inquiry.
Evidence leader advocate Matthew Chaskalson put it to Makhubo that Makubedu made donations to the ANC in the previous weeks and saved Makhubo's own consulting business, Molelwane, from cash-flow difficulties, “and in that context he thought he might ask your assistance in relation to a pending EOH networking proposal”.
Makhubo said that was untrue and that he and Makubedu were business partners and helped each other for a long time.
“He (Makubedu) would not solicit a tender from me like that or in any other way.
“I am not sure why he will email me this proposal. It has nothing to do with me. Our relationship is not like this where he says he donated to the ANC so help me with this," Makhubo said.
However, Chaskalson said the appearance created was that Makubedu sent him emails related to procurement practices for assistance.
Makhubo still denied knowing why Makubedu emailed him such proposals and told the commission that he would usually ignore such emails.
“If it doesn't affect me, I just ignore them. That’s how I work,” Makhubo said.
Makhubo was the treasurer-general for the ANC Greater Johannesburg region and the City’s finance MMC when these transactions and email exchanges took place. This was between 2014 and 2016.
The commission has previously heard evidence that the ANC in Johannesburg allegedly funded its unsuccessful 2016 local government elections campaign through a R50 million donation from EOH.
ENS Forensics MD Steven Powell accused Makhubo of having written various emails to EOH employee Makubedu requesting over R6 million in payments to be made to the ANC’s accounts in 2015 alone.
ENS was contracted by EOH to help it clean house after a change in management.
Powell made public how an apparent front company was used as a vehicle to allegedly channel money for the ANC’s benefit and to Makhubo’s company, Molelwane Consulting.
The alleged front company, Mfundi Mobile, was paid by EOH purportedly for work done on City of Johannesburg projects, but ENS’s forensic investigation did not find evidence of work done by Mfundi Mobile.