My conscience is clear, says Koko on fresh suspension, new charges

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Johannesburg – Eskom executive Matshela Koko has been suspended – again.

Eskom spokesperson Phulu Phasiwe confirmed the suspension saying he “just spoke to the CEO and I can confirm that Matshela has been suspended”.

Phasiwe was responding to a tweet from Koko where he announced the suspension and that fresh charges had been brought against him.

“I welcome these developments and once again look forward to clearing my name in a tribunal,” his tweet read. 

Phasiwe said the charges were in addition to the charges he faced at the Labour Court. 

“In terms of the letter that was given to him today, I won’t be able to go into detail to it. This is an internal matter and he wants to go public about it,” he said.

Koko, who was reinstated as Eskom’s head of generation on 3 January after he was cleared of wrongdoing in a disciplinary hearing in December, rejected the new board’s ultimatum to resign within 24 hours or be fired.

He has instead taken the matter on an urgent basis to the Labour Court, which issued an interim order restraining Eskom from firing him on Friday 26 January.

His charges in his disciplinary hearing in December included his alleged failure to declare a conflict of
interest while his stepdaughter Koketso Choma was a director at Impulse
International, a firm which benefited from about R1bn worth of contracts
awarded by Eskom over 11 months. He was suspended in August.

Koko told Fin24 by phone on Wednesday evening that he has “a clean conscience”.

“I walk with my chin up… I am a victim,” Koko told Fin24.

He said that he welcomes every opportunity to clear his name and that he wants the disciplinary hearing to be open to the media as ultimately people will decide who is telling the truth.

He said the letter of suspension doesn’t include a date for the disciplinary hearing and he was unable to detail his charges due to the terms of his suspension.

On 20 January, the
government appointed a new 13-member board, with Jabu
Mabuza as the new chairperson and Phakamani Hadebe as the new interim CEO. The
government also demanded that the board remove all executives who face
allegations of corruption, including then chief financial officer Anoj
Singh and Koko.

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Not all greed among financial institutions – MP

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Cape Town – It is not all about greed among financial institutions and it does not mean all financial institutions are to blame for reckless lending.

This was one of the conclusions by ANC MP Joanmariae Fubbs, chair of Parliament’s committee on trade and industry, at a session on the National Credit Amendment Bill on Wednesday. Various stakeholders raised their issues of concern about the bill with the committee.

Another issue that came through repeatedly, according to Fubbs, is the need for a well-funded National Credit Regulator.

“We are relying on stakeholders to enable us to craft more robust legislation and fill any gaps,” she said.

Rudolph Willemse, chair of the Large Non-Bank Lender Association (LNBLA), told the committee that its members have a combined (loan) book of R32bn.

He emphasised that the organisation does not believe in criminal sanctions in the credit law, but rather that, if a member has been sanctioned, he should be able to come back to the industry.

The LNBLA also feels that the criteria for debt intervention as proposed in the bill is not clear.

“We would like to see the circumstances under which such [debt intervention] orders can be given,” said Willemse.

He cautioned that lenders will tend to avoid risk and the bill could lead to more people being excluded from obtaining credit.

“It is a complex process to try and determine reckless lending,” he added.

He is also concerned about credit information being circulated by email.

Another trend he pointed out to the committee is that it is becoming more and more difficult for lenders to enforce the payment of debt.

“I don’t want Parliament to make a law which actually makes people feel they need not pay back loans, because government will interfere and come to their rescue. At the same time there also should not be reckless lending,” said Willemse.

In a presentation by the National Debt Counselling Association (NDCA), Benay Sager of Intelligent Debt Management (IDM) told the committee that some consumers end up with as little as R150 per month once all their debt payments have been made.

“It is a perfect storm created by the bad economy and inflation,” said Sager.

He agreed with Willemse that it is, however, difficult to establish when reckless lending took place.

In his view, it would be a good idea for government to provide a subsidy for low-income earners who want to obtain debt counselling.

Yvonne Oberholtster addressed the committee in her personal capacity. She said the NCR is over-stretched and will be even more burdened if the current proposed credit bill is turned into law.

Her husband, Deon, told the committee that he wants to caution against accepting a bill that does not fill existing loopholes.

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December trade surplus best in 27 years

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5 minutes ago

Arabile Gumede, Bloomberg

Johannesburg – South Africa recorded its biggest trade surplus in least 27 years in December as imports of equipment components, electronics and chemical products dropped.

The R15.7bn surplus compares with November’s R13.1bn positive balance, the South African Revenue Service said in an emailed statement on Wednesday. It’s the 11th straight month of surpluses, the longest such streak since 1999.

Positive trade balances have eased pressure on the current account, the broadest measure of trade in goods and services, boosting the rand.

The currency has also rallied since December, when the ANC ruling African National Congress elected Cyril Ramaphosa to lead the party. It strengthened to below 12/$ for the first time since May 2015 last week as the domestic political outlook improved.

Highlights from the statement:

Imports of original equipment components decreased 58% from November, while inward shipment of machinery and electronics fell 15%.

Exports of mineral products retreated 12% and shipments of vehicle and transport equipment were down 23%.

Total exports fell 10% and total imports decreased 14.1%.

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Taxify and OrderIn team up to take on UberEATS, Mr D Food

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(iStock)

Johannesburg  – Local food delivery service, OrderIn, has teamed up with ride hailing app Taxify, in a move expected to compete directly with UberEATS and Mr D Food, across the country. 

The already-existing food delivery services will now be able to offer more scale through Taxify drivers who will now be delivering food from various outlets.

In a join statement the companies said the partnership will significantly expand the reach and offering of both companies looking to grow their customer base in South Africa. 

The partnership will offer incentives to customers and additional earning power to Taxify drivers. 

“It all comes down to scale, with more scale we can offer greater efficiency to our customers and reduce our prices – even further,” said CEO and founder of OrderIn, Dinesh Patel.

The collaboration will be promoted through social media, in car and in app. 

Discount coupon codes will be offered to first time OrderIn and Taxify users and ongoing exclusive incentives will be made available to regular customers.

“We’re continuously on the look-out for innovative ways to incentivise our drivers and grow our customer base in local markets. The partnership with OrderIn was a logical next step for us,” said Operations Manager for Taxify, Sinako Cetyiwe. 

Launched in 2012, OrderIn has a network of over 1 200 restaurants in all the major cities in South Africa. 

The locally founded business is the most affordable food app on the market with a R10 delivery fee. 

Taxify, which re-launched in South Africa in 2016, already operates in 20 countries worldwide and said that its global business has seen considerable success with its fairer, more transparent ride-sharing service.

“Our focus as a company has always been to provide our drivers with higher revenue-per-ride. We strongly believe that a happy driver means a happy rider. With this in mind, we seek strategic relationships that not only benefit our customers, but also boost the earning power of our drivers. The partnership with OrderIn offers just that. We’re looking forward to a long-term relationship with Dinesh and his team,” Cetyiwe said. 

In December, Patel told City Press that a battle is raging between the major food delivery apps in South Africa.

OrderIn’s key competitors are UberEATS and Mr D Food, in which Naspers has an indirect stake.

“Right now, we are in a massive pricing war to win customers. We have seen this play out all over the world,” Patel told City Press. 

In October, Fin24 reported that UberEATS had surpassed over half a million downloads since its launch in South Africa and had also expanded the service into Durban. 

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Top 5 on Fin24: MultiChoice dumps ANN7, Martins takes the stand at #EskomInquiry

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Cape Town – A roundup of Wednesday’s top economic and finance reads on Fin24.

MultiChoice will not renew contract with ANN7

http://www.fin24.com/

Naspers’ [JSE:NPN] MultiChoice has decided to rid itself of Gupta-linked ANN7, after an internal investigation found that the media company made critical mistakes. However, the investigation found no explicit wrongdoing or corruption.

This follows News24’s #GuptaLeaks report in November, in which it was detailed how MultiChoice agreed to pay the Guptas’ Infinity Media Networks a “once-off” payment of R25m in 2015. The payment was not deemed as corruption in the internal investigation, headed by MultiChoice board member Don Eriksson.

In December it emerged that MultiChoice had also agreed to increase its annual payment for Infinity’s ANN7 news channel from R50m to just over R140m, documents showed.

READ: Naspers won’t renew contract with Gupta-linked ANN7

#Auditing regulator to start Deloitte investigation over Steinhoff

http://www.fin24.com/

IRBA’s chief executive officer Bernard Agulhas said the regulator was set to start its investigation into Deloitte’s auditing of Steinhoff in February.

Agulhas said that he understood that there was a public interest in the Steinhoff case, and IRBA would make an effort to complete its investigation quickly. 

He said Deloitte had delivered a “massive” cache of electronic files.

He said the investigation would cover whether the Deloitte missed any accounting irregularities, and/or broke IRBA’s code of ethics.

#EskomInquiry: Martins opens up on Tony Gupta, Waterkloof saga and Suzanne Daniels

http://www.fin24.com/

 

The Eskom Inquiry on Wednesday heard that Rajesh (Tony) Gupta is not a friend of Deputy Minister of Public Enterprises Ben Martins.

Martins appeared before the portfolio committee of public enterprises, which is investigating the mismanagement of funds at state power utility Eskom.

 During a cross examination by Advocate Ntuthuzelo Vanara, the deputy minister clarified the nature of his relationship with the Gupta brother.

“Mr Gupta has never been my friend,” he said. As an authority figure in government, Martins said he meets many individuals and interacts with them “as far as work is concerned”.

5 Prasa bombshells Lucky Montana dropped

http://www.fin24.com/

Lucky Montana, former CEO of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa), appeared before the portfolio committee on public enterprises on Tuesday, in an effort to “set the record straight” and help the inquiry do its work.

In a 65-page submission, Montana described how the Guptas and even ANC officials tried to influence the rail company. He said he has witnesses and documents as proof, and that if anyone wants to contest his testimony they should approach the inquiry.

Fin24 compiled a list of the five main items you need to know from Montana’s testimony.

Eskom’s Sean Maritz placed on permanent suspension

http://www.fin24.com/

Eskom chief information officer Sean Maritz has been placed on permanent suspension pending an investigation into allegations of impropriety, the power utility said on Wednesday. 

“He was placed on temporary suspension last Friday, which has now been converted into a permanent suspension,” according to a tweet by Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe. 

The former interim CEO of Eskom faced scrutiny for his role in signing off on a questionable R400m payment from Eskom to a Hong Kong bank account, against all legal advice.

The R400m is widely viewed as a kickback and was apparently made to secure a $2bn (or R25bn) loan from China’s Huarong Energy Africa to build or refurbish power stations last year.

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Parts of credit amendment bill unconstitutional – BASA

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Cape Town – The
Banking Association of South Africa (BASA) is concerned about the
constitutionality of aspects of the proposed National Credit Amendment Bill, it
told Parliament’s portfolio committee on trade and industry on Wednesday.

BASA represents 35 local and international banks. It
believes over-indebtedness is a social and economic challenge with far reaching
consequences. Banks grant about 73% of the credit in SA and, according to BASA,
they support sustainable debt interventions.

BASA informed the committee that over-indebtedness has
actually decreased due to improved processes put in place by banks on a
voluntary basis. The number of consumers with impaired records also decreased
since 2015.

BASA cautioned the committee that the proposed bill should
not unnecessarily constrain credit provision, as that will impact financial
inclusion in the country.

In BASA’s view, the current draft of the bill does not
balance the rights of credit suppliers and consumers.

Advocate Alfred Cockrell SC, an independent counsellor at the
Johannesburg Bar, presented part of BASA’s feedback on the bill to the
committee.

READ: SA needs clearly defined credit laws – expert

He said although BASA is questioning the constitutionality
of the bill, it is doing so in a “constructive way” and with the understanding
that the committee would not want to pass legislation what could later be set
aside in court as being unconstitutional.

He explained that when a bank lends money to a consumer,
that amount remains on the bank’s balance sheet as a claim against the client.
This claim is regarded as an asset owned by the bank – its “property” in other
words.

The proposed bill, on the other hand, makes provision for a
debt intervention application by which a consumer’s debt could in fact be
“extinguished” – written off – completely. This will cause the asset of the
bank (the claim against the consumer in terms of the loan) to stop existing.

For the BASA members this boils down to interference with
its property rights as guaranteed by the Constitution.

Cockrell argued that the proposed bill makes arbitrary
interferences with these constitutional property rights.

The debt intervention parts of the bill, for instance, do
not state that a consumer must be over-indebted to use the process provided for
the extinction (writing off) of debt.

READ: BASA issues loan shark warning

BASA is concerned about the economic reality of the impact
if debt is wiped off the balance sheets of banks in terms of the processes
provided by the bill.

The banks would be forced to recover these lost debts by
pricing it in elsewhere. In practice that would likely mean other consumers
would end up paying more.

It could also lead to banks refusing to give loans to the
very class of people the bill aims to help.

Cockrell described the bill’s intervention process for
writing off debt as a “sledge hammer used to kill a mosquito”. BASA feels there
are less intrusive ways available, like debt review.

An example Cockrell gave was where there could be a natural
disaster and consumers are unable to pay their debts because of its impact. In
terms of the bill, the minister could then decide to write off these debts.

Cockrell argued that this would once again amount to the
arbitrary extinction of property rights and, therefore, contrary to the
Constitution.

He argued that the bill stipulating that credit life
insurance in the case of certain loans must be between the credit provider and
the consumer is also not constitutional.

It deprives the consumer of the opportunity to shop around
for a better deal. On top of that, the credit provider might not be in the business
of providing insurance.

“We are confident that the committee would not want to fall
foul to the constitutional principles and would be willing to look at the
issues addressed by BASA today,” concluded Cockrell.

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JSE closes mostly unchanged | Fin24

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Cape Town – The JSE parred earlier losses to close fairly unchanged. The All-Share index closed down by 0.07%, the blue-chip Top 40 down 0.16% and industrials down by 0.11%.

Financials managed to edge up by 0.65% on the day, as PSG [JSE:PSG] and Capitec [JSE:CPI] dealt with the effects of the Viceroy report, down another 5.93% and 12.59% respectively.

Wednesday saw Steinhoff International Holdings NV [JSE:SNH] trade lower, as the parliamentary inquiry kicked off and news that former CEO Markus Jooste had been reported to the Hawks.

Elsewhere, a 6.7% rise in third-quarter group revenue saw mobile operator Vodacom Group [JSE:VOD] trade up by 5.45%.

The rand rallied against major currencies,after consumer confidence improved slightly in the fourth quarter linked to increased optimism and the recent stronger-than-expected rebound in real GDP growth.

The rand traded at R11.84 to the dollar, R16.80 to the pound and R14.77 to the euro.

Commodities

Gold prices held onto gains, trading at $1 343.91 per ounce, as the dollar shrugged off upbeat US employment data and remained cautious ahead of the highly-anticipated Fed policy decision later.

Elsewhere, silver was trading up at $17.29 per troy ounce, while platinum continued to ease, trading at $1 003.34 per troy ounce.

Oil slips further from previous highs after data from Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Crude Oil Inventories showed an increase of 6.776 million barrels last week. Brent Crude is currently trading at $68.29/bbl and WTI trading at $64.17/bbl.

Global Stocks

After a controversy-free state of the union address from US President Donald Trump, Asian markets closed lower, giving up slight gains. China’s Shanghai Composite was down by 0.19% and Japan’s Nikkei down 0.83%.

European markets continued to follow suit, with the CAC-40 up by 0.12% and the DAX down by 0.92% after figures released showed euro zone inflation in January was 1.3% year-on-year, below the ECB’s target of 2%.

In the UK, the FTSE was down by 0.40% after EU Brexit negotiators set out a tough line on financial services, ruling out the UK’s ambitious deal for the sector.

Wednesday saw US equities rebound on the open from the two-day sell-off, as corporate earnings keep beating expectations. While in economic news, ADP’s non-farm employment numbers beat forecasts, coming in at 234 000 ahead of Friday’s non-farm payrolls.

Cryptocurrencies

Major cryptocurrencies remained under pressure on Wednesday, with Bitcoin trading lower, down 3.22%. The world’s largest cryptocurrency could be set for its largest monthly decline since December 2013 amid the threat of heightened global regulation.

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Naspers won’t renew contract with Gupta-linked ANN7

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Johannesburg – Naspers’ [JSE:NPN] MultiChoice has decided to rid itself of Gupta-linked ANN7, after an internal investigation found that the media company made critical mistakes. However, the investigation found no explicit wrongdoing or corruption.

This follows News24’s #GuptaLeaks report in November, in which it was detailed how MultiChoice agreed to pay the Guptas’ Infinity Media Networks a “once off” payment of R25m in 2015. The payment was not deemed as corruption in the internal investigation, headed by MultiChoice board member Don Eriksson.

In December it emerged that MultiChoice had also agreed to increase its annual payment for Infinity’s ANN7 news channel from R50m to just over R140m, documents showed.

Criticism has been heaped on the company for funding a channel with dwindling viewership which essentially became a propaganda machine for the Gupta and Zuma families.

Allegations also emerged that MultiChoice made a payment to the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) in exchange for political influence over government policy on digital migration.

Before MultiChoice signed the agreement, then communications minister Faith Muthambi had forwarded detailed suggestions about government decisions affecting the broadcasting sector to the Guptas and Duduzane Zuma, the president’s son, News24 reported.

The documents were penned by Clarissa Mack, MultiChoice’s then head of regulatory and policy affairs.

But on Thursday the internal investigation said no corruption had been found in its probe, “done by a capable and respected team”.

MultiChoice CEO Calvo Mawela said the company would own up to the fact that critical mistakes had been made.

Despite assurances that no corruption or wrongdoing had been found, Mawela said the full report would not be released. He said only the findings and recommendations would be shared, because the full report contained sensitive commercial information.

Mawela also declined to say exactly how much money ANN7 had been paid, merely hinting that it was above R100m.

ANN7 dumped

ANN7’s contract will lapse in August, and it will not be renewed. Instead a black owned new news channel will be introduced. Mawela said tenders would be going out shortly to select a channel that would represent the majority of South Africans.

The new channel must be black, free from political interference, and offer critical news coverage, Mawela said.

A firm owned by Mzwanele Manyi has since bought ANN7 and The New Age and Mawela said MultiChoice has had discussions with Manyi about their decision to dump the channel.

Mawela said it had been a humbling episode for MultiChoice and that it would learn from this experience. Nobody had been fired as a result of the investigation, he said.

“We fully understand the outrage of the public, we must have dealt with the concerns more swiftly,” he said. “Today we hold our hands up to our mistakes.”

He said former MultiChoice SA CEO Imtiaz Patel’s relationship with the Guptas played no role in their relationship with MultiChoice. Patel heads up video entertainment in Naspers.

Also MultiChoice would fully cooperate with a parliamentary inquiry into whether influence had been peddled.

Icasa will also be investigating MultiChoice over allegations of the payments made to both the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) and ANN7.

Mistakes

Mawela said the investigation found that mistakes were made, which they hoped to avoid in future. The failure to conduct thorough due diligence around ANN7 and its ownership was mistake number one. Secondly not raising concerns around ANN7 and their associates as they came to light, was another.

Yet the investigators found that the commercial contract with ANN7 was within the accepted parameters of MultiChoice, Mawela ssid.

Negotiations with ANN7 began at a time when MultiChoice wanted to add black coverage to its bouquet to reflect more diversity in South Africa, Mawela said.

He said the investigation also found no correlation between ANN7 and lobbying for government influence on policies that could benefit MultiChoice. “But some processes could be improved.”

Naspers CEO Bob van Dijk said the news coverage was “not what you wanted to see about your company”.

But he said he understood the levels of concern, and how the public felt about the allegations.

“Those allegations were extremely serious,” he said. “We have taken them seriously.”

Payments made to ANN7, including an upfront R25m in 2015, were “neither abnormal nor unusual” when negotiating with TV channels about broadcasting on a network, MultiChoice said.

All relevant contracts were reviewed by the company and attorneys Webber Wentzel.

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5 Prasa bombshells Lucky Montana dropped at #EskomInquiry

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Cape Town – Lucky Montana, former CEO of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa), appeared before the portfolio committee on public enterprises on Tuesday, in an effort to “set the record straight” and help the inquiry do its work.

In a 65-page submission, Montana described how the Guptas and even ANC officials tried to influence the rail company. He said he has witnesses and documents as proof, and that if anyone wants to contest his testimony they should approach the inquiry.

Fin24 compiled a list of the five main items you need to know from Montana’s testimony.

1. Ben Martins tried to smear his name

One of the main reasons Montana appeared before the inquiry was to clarify that Martins had introduced him to Rajesh (Tony) Gupta and the president’s son Duduzane Zuma in September 2012, and not the other way around as was implied by Martins at a previous briefing on November 9 2017.

“In his attempt to clear his name and distance himself from the Gupta family, Deputy Minister Ben Martins stated during the media briefing that he had met members of the Gupta family on a few occasions.

“To my surprise, Deputy Minister Martins further stated that one such occasion was when he met members of the Gupta family with Lucky Montana. I got the distinct impression that Deputy Minister Martins wanted to create the impression that I brought members of the Gupta family to him,” he told the portfolio committee.

Montana went on to describe his relationship with Martins, which extends a far back as 1996, when he met Martins in Parliament.

“I have no doubt that he is committed to serving the people of South Africa. This is the man who lives for the arts. He would invite me during weekends when he visited art galleries.

“He would teach me about paintings, the ideas behind them and the artists behind these. As you may be aware, he writes and publishes poems. This is a man I have huge respect for,” he said.

“I could however not believe it when I heard what he said at the media briefing. I felt strongly that Deputy Minister Ben Martins was trying to protect his own name at my expense.

2. How the Guptas tried to dissolve the Prasa board

According to Montana’s version of events, in September 2012 he was to go to Berlin to attend a railway exhibition and conference. The night before he was supposed to leave he met with Martins at his home in Pretoria; thereafter Tony Gupta and Duduzane Zuma had joined them. 

“The minister had introduced them to me and informed me they had expressed an interest in the Prasa Rolling Stock Fleet Renewal Programme,” he said.

Montana said he would be willing to meet with them upon his return from Berlin. However, while he was in Berlin he was approached by representatives of rolling stock manufacturers, saying they had been approached by representatives of the Gupta family.

“The Guptas were extorting money from manufacturers and had wanted this money paid into some account in Dubai and stated they were working for President JG Zuma, Minister Ben Martins and Lucky Montana,” according to his written submission.

The manufacturers had met Gupta business associate Salim Essa in Zurich, where they were told that they would have to pay money to be part of the Prasa new build programme, explained Montana.

This angered Montana and he requested a second meeting with Martins, Duduzane and Tony. An unnamed Indian gentleman had also attended the meeting. Montana said he spent an hour expressing his anger. “I made it clear that what they were doing was unlawful and that they could not collect monies in our names.”

After disagreements, they decided not to make demands on rolling stock manufacturers. Tony Gupta informed Montana that the unnamed Indian gentleman would be in contact with him regarding work with China South Rail.

Montana said he was given a cellphone with which to contact him, but had given it away. The unnamed Indian man had contacted Montana at a later stage and provided him with Salim Essa and Iqbal Sharma’s CV, with the intention that they be appointed to the Bid Evaluation Committee for the rolling stock tender.

Montana said he complained to Martins about this. China South Rail eventually lost the tender. The Guptas tried to dissolve the Prasa board, and tried to get Mzwanele (Jimmy) Manyi as chair.

But Martins had defended the board.

3. Everyone wants a piece of Prasa

During his testimony Montana said that the Gupta family were not the only ones who attempted to secure tenders at Prasa. Black businesses which had entered into agreements with international rolling stock companies also wanted an in at the state rail company, but were unhappy with Prasa’s decision to appoint a 30% BBBEE partner for the Rolling Stock tender.

“Prasa gave the Original Equipment Manufacturers the right to find their own black partners for 70% of the transaction but (said) that this would not be credited. Prasa insisted that only the 30% BBBEE partners would be credited but these would be selected through an open, transparent and competitive process,” Montana explained in his written submission.

“This was to prevent politically connected individuals or groupings from either fronting or manipulating the process.”

In turn, international rolling stock manufacturers also wanted to secure tenders. “They maneuvered (sic), played one player against the other and tried to manipulate, if not blackmail, existing local industry players to lower their prices.”

But Montana said that former transport minister Dipuo Peters and ANC treasurer general Zweli Mkhize had managed to find a way in through the appointment of a new Prasa board in August 2014.

4. How the ANC tried to influence the Prasa tenders

In his written submission, Montana explained how in March 2014 Peters convened a meeting in Cape Town with the chairs and CEOs of the public entities which reported to her department to discuss corporate plans, budgets and deliverables for the 2014/15 financial year.

The minister was interested in Prasa’s rolling stock fleet renewal programme. At another meeting in April 2014, with Montana and former chair Sfiso Buthelezi and group executive for strategic asset development Piet Sebola, Peters requested that Prasa cancel a tender awarded to Gibela Rail Consortium.  After refusing, Montana said that Peters threatened to change Prasa’s board and would appoint Popo Molefe as chair.

Montana also said that Mkhize had demanded that 10% of R465m of the first payment which was due to Swifambo Rail Leasing be paid to him. Montana said that he had rejected this demand.

Montana concluded that Peters and Mkhize were behind the appointment of the new Prasa board in August 2014.

He added that the ANC tried to influence other tenders, and that he was approached by ANC head of economic transformation Enoch Godongwana to support a company bidding for a security tender at Prasa.

5. Montana under attack

While he was Prasa chair, Popo Molefe had appointed Werksmans Attorneys to conduct a forensic investigation into contracts to uncover corruption. This required surveillance of certain individuals, including himself.

According to Molefe his home was broken into three times. Only computers and memory sticks were stolen, while other valuables were left behind.

Montana said he had to protect himself and his family. He used a firearm, which Prasa had issued to him previously. Prasa later tried to repossess this firearm.

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