Deputy  Chief Justice Raymond Zondo. Picture: Bongani Mbatha/African News Agency (ANA)
Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo. Picture: Bongani Mbatha/African News Agency (ANA)

LIVE FEED: State capture inquiry, February 17, 2020

By Zintle Mahlati Time of article published Feb 17, 2020

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Johannesburg - The Zondo commission will shift its focus into investigating allegations of corruption involving KwaZulu-Natal water supply entity Mhlathuze Water. 

Sole member of Premier Attraction Thalente Cyril Myeni will take the stand. 

The state-owned entity has been plagued by allegations of corruption for years. Allegations surrounded the tenure of controversial former board chairperson of the board Dudu Myeni. There had also been questions raised about tenders awarded by the company. 

The entity is based in KZN and supplies water to district municipalities in KZN. 

Last week, the commission wrapped up the testimony of former head of procurement at SA Airways Technical. 

Nontsasa Memela took the stand for the fourth day at the Zondo commission on Wednesday. She was questioned on her handling of a components tender which was awarded to US-based aviation company AAR Corporation and SA-based JM Aviation. The five-year contract was awarded in 2016 and worth R1.4 billion. 

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SAAT forms part of South African Airways and deals with the maintenance of the airlines aircraft. 

In investigations, it was brought to light that Memela had purchased a property in Bedfordview for R3.8 million. Of the total amount owed R2.5 million was paid by JM Aviation towards Memela's property. When asked about the transfers, Memela explained that there was nothing untoward about the payment. 

She claimed that JM Aviation director Vuyo Ndzeku had purchased land from her mother and it was decided that instead of the funds being paid to her mother they would go towards her Bedfordview property purchase. 

She maintained that she was conflicted when she worked on the contract and that her decision making was not influenced by the payment. She said the two issues were separate. 

"No chair. There is no way where I had influenced the decision by anyone at SAAT because I received a payment from JM Aviation. I played my role to the best of my ability. But where I have to answer on behalf of the acting CEO as if I have the power to influence, no I did not have any influence," she said. 

Memela was also questioned on why SAAT had decided to make an upfront deposit to AAR of R60 million when the contract had been concluded and work had not been done. Memela insisted that if SAAT had not paid that upfront payment then AAR would have justified in not delivering components. 

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