LIVE FEED: State capture inquiry, February 06, 2020
The Zondo commission will on Thursday morning continue hearing evidence related to state-owned airline South African Airways (SAA).
The inquiry will hear from Schalk Hendrick Human, the acting head of department for supply chain management for South Airways Technical (SAAT).
Sibongile Sambo, a director at SRS Aviation which supplies helicopter rental services, took the stand at the Zondo commission on Wednesday.
Sambo’s evidence was largely based on prospective business deals her company hoped to partner with a US-based aviation supplier company, AAR Corporation. She explained that she had hoped to work AAR in supplying aviation components to SAAT.
SAAT from 2013 had issued various tender bids for the supply of aviation components, however, all but one of the bids went through. Sambo had hoped to form part of the bid application proposals solely with AAR, but other individuals joined the application to secure a five-month components supply tender for SAAT. The groups formed a B-BBEE consortium with Sambo’s company SRS receiving a share and other individuals also received a share in partnership along with AAR.
Sambo told the inquiry that businessman Bongani More had been holding a 13,33% stake in the consortium for deputy finance minister Jonas as they were family relatives.
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Jonas was also mentioned in Sambo’s evidence regarding a meeting that took place in Cape Town between AAR representative, Cheryl Jackson, and a Mr Bagus, who had allegedly had arranged the meeting and had strong political connections and was a BEE expert.
Sambo said she does not know what was discussed at the meeting as she was never invited. Jonas disputes Sambo’s accounts. He admitted that he had attended a meeting in Cape Town, but said there was nothing nefarious about the meeting.
“It is correct that I was invited to a dinner in Cape Town where I was introduced to a Ms Jackson, representative of AAR, whom I was informed was interested in investing in South Africa. I told Ms Jackson that she should speak to the relevant management of SAA. I made it clear that I was not involved in the management of either SAA or SAAT. I do not believe that Ms Sambo’s unsubstantiated allegations should be left unchallenged,” he said.
Jonas also denied ever being involved in a B-BBEE deal and any relations with More.