Beans to be spilled about cattle for Jacob Zuma
Johannesburg – A North West businessman whose company was allegedly used as a
conduit to channel funds, allocate farms and deliver cattle to politicians, including former president Jacob Zuma, is expected to reveal all when he appears before the provincial legislature’s portfolio committee on economic development tomorrow.
Derrick Montshwe’s company, Agridelight, was awarded a three-year contract worth R650million to be the implementing agent for rural, environmental and agricultural development programmes in North West in 2014.
But a whistle-blower claimed there were suspicious transactions between the company and several politicians in the province after the deal was signed.
Montshwe yesterday confirmed that he would be appearing before the portfolio committee on economic development, environmental, tourism, agriculture and rural development in Mahikeng tomorrow, where he is expected to be grilled on several contentious issues and allegations, including:
Why he delivered 25 cattle worth about R1.5m to Zuma’s homestead in Nkandla in October 2016.
Whether he paid for a cosmetic nose job for former North West agriculture MEC and current MP Manketsi Tlhape, worth about R500 000.
Whether he provided funds for Tlhape to acquire a franchise for a pizza outlet in Mahikeng .
Whether he delivered sheep and cattle to a farm owned by former North West premier Supra Mahumapelo.
Whether he also provided funds for Mahumapelo to acquire franchises of two McDonald’s in Mahikeng under his wife’s name.
To reveal names of other politicians and government employees who might have benefited from a scheme which was meant to benefit emerging farmers in the province.
However, Montshwe refused to name the implicated politicians.
“I can confirm that I would be appearing before the portfolio committee on Monday, to tell the truth. There were several allegations and smear campaigns madem and now is the time to tell the world the honest truth,” Montshwe said.
“Come to the portfolio committee sitting on Monday if you want to hear the truth.”
The Sunday Independent understands that Montshwe has been fighting with the North West government over some of his unpaid invoices of about R300m.
“I can confirm that I wasn’t paid for services rendered to the province and I hope the portfolio committee will help to bring closure to the matter.”
Montshwe initially applied to be a State witness in what authorities claimed was looting on a grand scale, but he later withdrew his application after he allegedly received death threats.
The portfolio committee’s chairperson, Bitsa Lenkopane, yesterday confirmed that Montshwe would
be grilled on several allegations that were levelled against him and his company, Agridelight.
“The committee will seek Agridelight to clarify, amongst others, allegations of maladministration and corruption.”
She added that if Montshwe
could confirm that there were also politicians who benefited, they would also be summoned to come and answer to the allegations.
“We have the power to subpoena anyone, whether it is former president Zuma or former premier Mahumapelo. If someone implicates them, we have to invite them to come and answer.”
Montshwe and his company are
also subjects of an ongoing police
Hawks spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi yesterday confirmed the investigation but refused to elaborate. “We are not in a position to comment about this investigation at this stage,” he said.
Hlomane Chauke, the co-ordinator of the ANC interim provincial committee in North West, yesterday said the party was looking forward to the portfolio committee sitting. He added that the provincial ANC task team would implement whatever resolution was taken by the portfolio committee.
“The party had written a letter to the relevant department seeking progress registered. Last, those individuals that had fraudulently received undue benefit from state assets by acquiring those animals must return them,” he said.
“Those individuals that unlawfully and illegally acquired state land and occupied farms as result thereof must be reported to the law enforcement
agencies, and cash beneficiaries must hand themselves over to the law enforcement agencies because they had deprived the people from benefits which are due to them.”