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Durban - Almost a million rand that was meant to benefit the Tamil community was deposited into a private company.

The money came from an empowerment deal that benefitted from the sale of Telkom shares.

Last week, POST reported on the matter in a news story headlined “ANC’s R1m for Tamils is missing”.

Moosa Jeena, a chartered accountant who handled the transaction, released a statement this week providing details of the deal. According to him:

The Telkom SPV Investment Consortium represented a broad-based group of various community organisations and groupings including those from the South African Indian community based in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal

The vehicle for the consortium was a registered shelf company called Black Ginger 185.

Nirode Bramdaw (who was a member of the ANC at the time) co-ordinated the KZN component of the national transaction

It included the KZN Tamil Federation Business Forum which was represented by a shelf company called Four Arrows Investments 187 (Pty) Ltd

The name was later changed to the SA Tamil Nadu Investment Company (Pty) Ltd.

The deal began in May 2005 and ended in 2010 when monies were paid out

The consortium received R8.2m, of which the SA Tamil Nadu Investment Company received R910 086.74

The money was paid over on October 6, 2010.

POST has established that the company, SA Tamil Nadu Investment Company, was registered in October 2004. It was the period during which the Telkom deal was taking place.

The directors are listed as Morganasundran Athimulam Nadasen Odayar and Somasundrum Kandasamy (Sagie) Moodley. Both men are involved in business and serve on the KZN Tamil Federation.

The registered address of the company is in Merebank and is also the address of a company linked to Odayar.

SA Tamil Nadu Investment Company is now listed as deregistered.

Richard Govender, president of the KZN Tamil Federation, said in a statement: “We confirm that the Tamil Federation of KwaZulu-Natal received its full allocated benefit of 25% from the SA Tamil Nadu Investment Company Pty Ltd”.

The SATF responded via their attorney, Mohammed Coovadia, who is based in Lenasia, Johannesburg. According to Coovadia: “The SATF has nothing to do with the KZN Tamil Federation Business Forum.

“These are two different organisations operating independently and there is no financial relationship between the parties.

“There is no correspondence that the SATF would be recipients of any funds either from the Business Forum or any third party.”

Coovadia confirmed that payment was made from Black Ginger 185 to SA Tamil Nadu Investment Company.

He said: “We are unable to furnish full information about this latter body except to aver that this has no nexus to our client nor any of their affiliates.”

Meanwhile, this week Nirode Bramdaw told POST: “In 2005, at my behest, the national promoters of the transaction included in the empowerment consortium the KZN Tamil Federation Business Forum.

“The intention was in line with the objective of being broad-based, to benefit the Tamil community; who were at the time constructing its first building in Silverglen.

“Two years ago, I met Yana Pillay socially and asked if the project was completed with the funds from the transaction.

“He expressed surprise as he was a past president of the KZN Tamil Federation, and had no knowledge of the transaction.

“I would like to place on record that I acted totally honestly and benevolently and that my bona fides are intact.”

Meanwhile, the Devasthanam Foundation, have offered to assist in clearing up the matter.

The foundation is made up of South Indian temples in South Africa. Siva Govindsamy, the president, said: “We believe transparency and accountability is the cornerstone of any public organsation. We always advocate internal engagement rather than differences entering the public domain.

“We are making an unconditional offer to assist the SATF be it in mediation, independent investigation or simple engagement so that this matter may be dealt with appropriately and the organization can focus on the important task of saving and propagating the Tamil language and culture.”

POST