LOUISE FLANAGAN

ENOCH Godongwana’s company tried to use his influence to get business from the huge government employees’ pension fund, Telkom and the SA Post Office.

Godongwana, now deputy minister of economic development, was supposed to use his union and government connections to get business for his employee benefits company.

This emerged during the liquidation inquiry in Cape Town into Canyon Springs Investments 12. Godongwana was a part owner of Canyon Springs and its subsidiary, Pan African Benefit Services (PABS), which administers pension funds.

Yesterday, advocate Graig Philander, who worked for PABS, said he compiled a list of potential business for PABS in February 2009 that Godongwana was to facilitate.

Godongwana, a former unionist, was paid about R1.5 million by the Canyon Springs group.

Philander’s list targeted 11 unions, funds and companies. One target was the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF).

“We have been in discussions for more than a year now. We were asked to help on administration, but we indicated to them that we did not have the capacity to help them; a possible tender on actuarial was also mooted, but nothing came of this!” wrote Philander of the GEPF.

“Enoch to speak to Mr Tsje again and to find out what is happening at the GEPF and what Pan African Benefits could do,” he wrote under “action required from Mr Enoch Godongwana”.

The GEPF calls itself Africa’s largest pension fund, with 1.2 million active members and assets of R700 billion.

Philander noted that PABS had no contacts at Telkom and, after six months of discussions, had made progress with only one Post Office trustee.

“Enoch to speak to the Minister of Telecommunications to find out where this process is,” he wrote.

Godongwana was also supposed to use his influence – partly through union leaders – to get work from the Metal Industries Benefit Funds, mining company Samancor, Mercedes-Benz, Cosatu unions – National Union of Mineworkers, National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa and the Chemical Energy Paper Printing Wood and Allied Workers Union – the private security industry and the Mineworkers Assembly.

Canyon Springs was liquidated last month as it could not repay more than R100m in a dodgy loan.

The money was moved from the Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers Union provident funds to the Trilinear Empowerment Trust, then chaired by Philander. The trust was supposed to invest the provident fund money, but signed it over to the Trilinear group, which lent R100m to Canyon Springs.

Canyon Springs used some of the money to fund PABS.