Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency(ANA)
Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency(ANA)

LIVE FEED: State capture inquiry, February 19, 2020

By Zintle Mahlati Time of article published Feb 19, 2020

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Johannesburg - The Zondo commission resumes this morning and hears testimony related to the aviation sector. 

An evaluator from the State Security Agency Nokunqoba Gloria Dlamini will take the stand. 

The commission will also hear an in-camera application. 

Last week, the commission wrapped hearing evidence aviation related evidence from the South African Airways Technical (SAAT). 

Nontsasa Memela, the former head of procurement at (SAAT) 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. 

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. 

"It was not onerous to SAAT to pay that amount. SAAT not paying that amount of money AAR would be entitled to keep that component and us not being able to use the aircraft on the ground. AAR made it clear that it is their policy to make the deposit. 

The inquiry resumes at 10am.


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