Abel Kgotso Manyike, a director at ORI Group, is testifying at the Zondo commission. Screengrab: SABC/YouTube
Abel Kgotso Manyike, a director at ORI Group, is testifying at the Zondo commission. Screengrab: SABC/YouTube

LIVE FEED: State Capture Inquiry - August 7, 2020

Time of article published Aug 7, 2020

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Johannesburg - The Zondo commission will continue its probe into the Free State provincial government's handling of an asbestos tender which was irregularly approved.

The following individuals are expected to take the stand; Abel Kgotso Manyike, a director at ORI Group and Shaun Duminy, the owner of SMD Trading.

On Thursday, the commission heard from former director-general at the department of human settlements Thabane Zulu.

The commission this week has been probing an asbestos contract worth R255 million that was awarded by the Free State department to a company called Blackhead Consulting. The contract was to assess and remove asbestos in government houses.

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This contract had originated in Gauteng and the Free State government had been "allowed" to participate in it as this was lawful in procurement regulations. What was questionable about the participation of the Free State government was that the panel appointed in Gauteng which included Blackhead Consulting had not followed a proper bidding process as required by procurement processes.

Zulu faced questions regarding an R600 000 payment paid by Blackhead Consulting director Edward Sodi for the purchase of a Range Rover. The payment was made by Sodi to SMD Trading, a car dealership, on Zulu's request for money the businessman owed him.

Zulu said there was nothing suspicious about the arrangement as Sodi owed him the money and was simply paying back a debt he owed him linked to his entertainment and food business TZ Lounge.

Zulu said there were documents which could prove that Sodi owed him money and was simply paying back a debt which was diverted to the car dealership.

"It was an amount of money that was owed to me. Yes, there will be documents. I am sure that if the investigators had consulted with me would have checked information regarding that," Zulu said.

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