Former chief financial officer of Bosasa Andries Johannes van Tonder gives his testimony during at the state capture inquiry. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency(ANA)

Johannesburg - Former Bosasa CFO Andries van Tonder has told the Zondo commission how Bosasa officials went to great lengths to cover up a trail of illegal activities.  

Van Tonder continued his testimony on Wednesday and told the inquiry how Bosasa bought a car for former correctional services CFO Patrick Gillingham's daughter Meghan. 

He said he was asked by Gavin Watson to purchase a vehicle for Gillingham's daughter. The purchase of a VW Polo and a scheme to cover up the fact that Bosasa paid for the vehicle were arranged. 

Van Tonder said he had intended to make a cash deposit with funds from Bosasa's account to purchase the vehicle. He said a Mr Smith, who worked at Bosasa, told him that it was better that another arrangement be drawn up for the payment. 

It was then that Van Tonder signed a loan agreement with Smith, who then transferred the money from his personal bank account to Van Tonder's account. Van Tonder used the cash to purchase the vehicle. 

"I arranged with the accounts department to have a cheque sent out in order to draw the cash and to deposit the cash into VW's account. The cheque required two signatures, I signed the first signature and I sent the cheque through to Dr Smith for a second signature. Dr Smith came to my office and told me that we can not pay for the vehicle by means of a cash deposit," said van Tonder.  

"I was instructed of a specific method of paying for the vehicle. I signed a personal loan agreement with Mr Smith and he transferred the money from his personal bank account into mine. I transferred the money from my account to VW's bank account in order to pay for the vehicle. Then Bosasa transferred money and the interest to Consilium Business Consultants. From Consilium, the money was transferred to my personal bank account. I transferred the money back to the bank account of Dr Smith."

"Bosasa did pay for the vehicle."

Van Tonder admitted that he knew that the vehicle was purchased for Gillingham's daughter because of the role the former official played in assisting Bosasa with contracts with the department of correctional services. 

He also told the inquiry how during the Special Investigating Unit's (SIU) investigation into Bosasa, he was told to keep track of invoices that may incriminate the company. One of the invoices included payments for building houses for Linda Mti, former prisons' boss, and Gillingham. 

"I was supposed to notify Mr Watson of suspicious invoices. They were invoices for houses that were built for Mr Mti and Mr Gillingham. They were accounted for in the books of Bosasa as if it was normal expenses that were incurred by the company itself. It was unlawful. 

Van Tonder said while the SIU investigation was ongoing, Watson told him that they had nothing to worry about as he had contacts within the Hawks and the NPA. 

A pact was made that no one would blow the whistle on the corruption at Bosasa.

The inquiry continues.

IOL