Will the real ’Geoff’ please stand up?
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Cape Town – City of Joburg mayor and former ANC Greater Johannesburg region treasurer Geoffrey Makhubo says he doesn’t know the ’’Geoff’’ referred to in a series of internal emails at technology company EOH.
The emails in question relate to discussions about tenders at the City of Joburg.
In the emails, EOH’s former business development executive, Patrick Makubedu, a close friend of Makhubo, says he will speak to ’’Geoff, who has the influence’’.
But, taking the stand at the Zondo Commission on Monday, Makhubo denied that he was the point of call regarding EOH’s bids to tender with the City of Joburg.
"I don't know of any Geoff who will have influence on tenders. The only Geoff I know is myself and I had no influence on tenders, " he said.
While Makhubo denied influencing tenders to benefit EOH, evidence leader advocate Matthew Chaskalson drew attention to three emails sent to Makhubo from Makubedu relating to a proposal, invoice and draft letter of appointment for one of the tenders.
Chaskalson said these three emails were sent to Makhubo regarding a City contract for ICT infrastructure and support.
Makhubo said he did not know why Makubedu sent him those emails as it did not involve him.
When questioned why he did not ask his close friend, Makubedu, about the emails, Makhubo said he did not know.
"If you don't know why he sent you those emails, one would think that in preparation for your appearance here today, you would call him and ask him why did you send me those things. One would expect that," Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo said.
Justice Zondo, the chairperson of the commission of inquiry, said the emails created an impression that Makubedu expected Makhubo to "do something for his entity".
"I would think that you would find that embarrassing because the impression is that you must get involved improperly in tenders. One would expect you to call him to account and tell him you don't do this.
"It might be said that this would have been a usual reaction for someone who genuinely did not know. Now it looks like you knew why he was sending you those emails," Zondo said.
Chaskalson said it seemed plausible that Makhubo knew why he received those emails and was even willing to do what was asked of him.
But the mayor denied that assertion.
The inquiry continues.