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Zondo calls for probe into Mantashe over Bosasa links

The recommendation is contained in Part 3 of the commission’s report which was made public by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday night

The state capture commission of inquiry has recommended that mineral resources and energy minister Gwede Mantashe be investigated for benefiting from state capture and corruption-accused Bosasa.

The recommendation is contained in Part 3 of the commission’s report which was made public by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday night.

The commission, chaired by deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo found that the then ANC secretary-general was seen as a “brilliant connection” by the controversial facilities management company.

The report stated that although there’s no evidence that Mantashe had acted upon “the inducement provided to him to influence public office bearers” there was justification in terms of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act for him to be investigated.

“There can be no doubt that the provision of security installations for no charge amounts to gain of whatsoever nature,” the report stated.

The commission found Mantashe’s explanation that he was not aware of who was footing the bill for the installation of security equipment at his three private properties “not convincing”.

Mantashe is the first member of the current ANC’s top six to face a call by the commission for a possible corruption-related prosecution.

He had scored free security installation at his properties between 2013 and 2016 in his private homes in Boksburg, on the East Rand, and in the Eastern Cape.

Mantashe had characterised the installation as being similar to a traditional wedding where family members and friends would contribute towards the costs.

“With each additional installation, the improbability of his (Mantashe) having no knowledge about who was responsible and at what cost, increases,” the report stated.

The report found that Mantashe fell outside the terms of reference of the commission as he had not been an public office bearer or associated with any public entities as envisaged by the terms of reference.

It said “there is no evidence that he has acted upon the inducement provided to him to influence public office bearers”.

The Zondo report pointed out, however, that while Mantashe had not been in public office during the time of security installations at his homes, the was basis for him to be investigated for possible prosecution in terms of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act (PRECCA).

“In the circumstance, there is a reasonable prospect that further investigation will uncover a prima facie case against Mr Mantashe in respect of the offence of corruption in terms of section of PRECCA, and the matter is referred for investigation accordingly,” the report said.

Mantashe had told the commission in 2021 that the Eastern Cape security upgrades were “informed by the success of the Boksburg installations”.

“The installations were effected in the Eastern Cape in 2016, having seen the effectiveness of the cameras in Boksburg where we even found a person who was stealing from within, who is working in the property. We thought that we should put those cameras in those properties as well,” Mantashe stated in his testimony at the commission in March 2021.

Deputy minister of defence and military veterans Thabang Makwetla was also among those against whom prima facie evidence of corruption was identified by the report, regarding his receipt of security installations from Bosasa.

“In respect of the benefits conferred to him by Bosasa, he was in breach of his constitutional, legislative and ethical duties,” the report said.

The report also found that there was enough evidence that former minister Nomvula Mokonyane and her family received gratifications from Bosasa, which sought to obtain contracts from government. It stated that Mokonyane and her family scored a wide range of benefits. These include her 40th birthday party and R50 000 monthly payment.

“There were clear attempts by Bosasa and its leaders through various forms of inducement… to influence Ms Mokonyane in her position as the member of the national executive and officer bearer in the state,” the report stated. “The matter is referred to the appropriate authorities for further investigations and prosecution of Ms Mokonyane on charges of corruption.”

The report also recommended that National Assembly house chairperson Cedric Frolick also be investigated for corruption. This is in relation to the alleged regular payments he had received from Bosasa in exchange for influencing the portfolio committee on correctional services, including its then chairperson Vincent Smith, where the company had been getting dubious tenders.

Smith is already facing prosecution in relation to the funds he secured from Bosasa.

-Sowetanlive

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