Babadi Tlatsana of Koreneka Trading and Projects appeared before the state capture in inquiry. Picture: Itumeleng English African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Johannesburg - The Zondo commission has heard how a witness who testified at the inquiry in June has been forced to flee South Africa fearing for her safety. 

Evidence leader Kate Hofmeyr made an opening address on Thursday and read an affidavit from Babadi Tlatsana’s lawyer. The affidavit details that Tlatsana had fled the country because she feared for her safety. 

She had testified in June and told the commission of a dodgy 2015 tender deal that her company, Koroneka Trading and Projects, had won with SA Express. The contract was to supply ground services. 

Tlatsana detailed how SA express former executive Brian Van Wyk had used Koroneka for corrupt dealings. She said that Van Wyk was in control of the company’s accounts. 

Hofmeyr read from the affidavit and stated; "We communicated with her lawyer who was present during her testimony and he has indicated that there were threats made and intimidation to Mrs Tlatsana after her evidence at the commission and the consequence of which is that in fear for her life she has left the republic". 

"When the commission received this information it took it very seriously. We have engaged our own investigators and they are updating us regularly on this. But as matters currently stand, it does appear that Mrs Tlatsana is not within the republic,” she said. 

Tlatsana's lawyer does not know where she has fled to. 

The commission is currently hearing evidence from Neo Solutions director Vivien Natasen. 

Natasen had admitted during his first appearance in July that his company had received R10 million from Van Wyk. He said he did not know that the money was the proceeds of possible corruption and kept the money as a favour to Van Wyk. 

Natasen explained on Thursday that he had made a cash payment of R300 000 to Van Wyk after he requested it to purchase a vintage car. He insisted that he did not find it unusual that the former SA Express executive had requested cash as he had the money available. 

The inquiry continues.