- The City of Tshwane awarded a portion of a suspect gas tender to an organization that paid thousands and thousands to accounts linked to EFF leaders.
- A court docket put aside the “irrational” and “unfair” tender, however not earlier than the town paid massively inflated gas costs.
- A police investigation is now trying into the tender.
The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) is digging right into a doubtful City of Tshwane gas tender value round half a billion rand. The tender was awarded in 2019 to 3 firms, certainly one of which, in flip, paid R15 million to firms linked to the EFF, its chief, Julius Malema, and future EFF secretary-general, Marshall Dlamini.
After the 2016 municipal elections, the EFF grew to become kingmakers within the metros of Tshwane and Joburg, giving them affect disproportionate to their minority standing. The DA relied on EFF votes within the metro councils, although the latter weren’t formally a part of DA-led coalitions.
AmaBhungane’s initial report confirmed that the timing of the funds overlapped with key moments within the tender course of.
In June 2020, the Pretoria High Court set aside the tender, citing the “irrational” and “unfair” approach during which it was evaluated and BBT was allowed to sport the system – however the court docket was not requested to interact with the suspect funds.
Now a letter from the DPCI (the Hawks) addressed to Tshwane’s metropolis supervisor requests info in reference to an investigation into “allegations of fraud and corruption committed against City of Tshwane relating to the [tender], which was awarded to Balimi Barui Trading, MDZ Holdings and Rheinland Investment CC”.
Previous stories by amaBhungane offered proof that the proprietor of Balimi Barui Trading (BBT), Hendrick Kganyago, paid the R15 million.
The funds had been break up between two separate firms branded as alleged fronts for Malema – a declare he rejects – and one other firm linked to Dlamini, then an EFF MP and at present the social gathering’s secretary-general.
The two firms linked to Malema had been Mahuna Investments, headed by Malema’s cousin, Matsobane Phaleng, and Santaclara Trading, whose founding director in 2013 was one Tebatso Malema.
Santaclara’s present director is Jimmy Matlebyane, a younger DJ, who goes by Jimmy-fire Malema on Facebook.
The Dlamini-linked firm that Kganyago allegedly paid is DMM Media and Entertainment. The firm’s sole director is Wesley Dlamini, a relative of Marshall, who has labored for at the least certainly one of his different firms.
Malema, Dlamini and the EFF refuse to answer amaBhungane’s questions and the social gathering has banned us from its occasions. Malema’s relations, as beforehand, failed to answer requests for remark.
BBT’s Kgyanyago didn’t reply to questions. The different two service suppliers, MDZ and Rheinland, weren’t ready to touch upon the investigation.
Malema has beforehand distanced himself from Santaclara and Mahuna, denying that they’re used for his personal profit.
He advised the Sunday Times in 2019 that his relations had been in enterprise independently of him: “They are young boys who are trying to find their feet … they are legitimate traders, but because of their association with me, you guys want to destroy them.”
Dlamini has beforehand denied interfering in municipal tenders.
AmaBhungane has written about Dlamini’s alleged position as a “fixer” within the metros. His name initially came up in reference to a R1 billion fleet contract that the City of Johannesburg awarded to Afrirent.
That firm additionally made funds to the identical two Malema-linked firms that obtained cash from Kganyago’s BBT.
BBT shouldn’t have been given a share of the gas tender as a result of its quoted costs had been far increased than these of different bidders. In spite of this and a bid committee advice that the costs be negotiated down, BBT was allowed to tear off the town by charging extortionate charges for gas – one thing the town put all the way down to an “honest mistake”.
Payments to the EFF-linked firms continued after BBT had secured its profitable place and the gas started to move.
In their letter, the Hawks request the town to supply them with, amongst different issues, a proof of the wants evaluation for the tender, paperwork associated to the varied tender committees and the declarations of pursuits of members of the committees, and the “employment contract and job description of Mr Stanley Kganyago”.
Stanley Kganyago, as a later amaBhungane report revealed, is a detailed relative of Hendrick and was a senior official within the metropolis’s fleet division. His identify appeared on tender paperwork and he was, at the least formally, liable for the tender. Kganyago didn’t reply to questions from amaBhungane.
It stays to be seen whether or not the Hawks will confine the investigation to the tender course of and the Kganyago household’s battle of curiosity, or whether or not they’ll go after the cash flows to EFF-linked firms.
A Hawks spokesperson mentioned: “We can only confirm that indeed [the] Hawks are investigating this case, but cannot at this stage divulge more information into what [the] investigation is looking into.”
There is appreciable proof to counsel that Mahuna (since renamed Rosario) and Santaclara have been used, at the least partly, to learn Malema and the EFF.
The Daily Maverick revealed detailed allegations suggestive of the corporate’s account getting used for Malema’s profit, one thing the EFF chief has vehemently denied – or claimed to be unaware of.
It is the same story with Santaclara.
Matlebyane, the corporate’s present director, has listed 49 Edward Rubenstein Drive in Sandown, Johannesburg, amongst his residential and enterprise addresses – the identical property owned by Malema’s Munzhedzi Family Trust.
Both amaBhungane’s personal info and a Sunday Times report have urged that Malema exercised some management over the Santaclara account.
At a media convention in 2020 he denied this.
Regarding Mahuna, Malema advised reporters, “All my cousins are active business-people in their own right. They are EFF members and EFF leaders. We spend most of the time together. What he [Malema’s cousin, Matsobane Phaleng] does with his own money… is not my business.”
He made related factors about DMM and Santa Clara, stating he’s not concerned and that they obtained respectable enterprise funds.
Both DMM and Santaclara additionally obtained cash from controversial politically linked enterprise man and proprietor of LTE Consulting, Thulani Majola.
All three firms have resisted disclosing their precise helpful possession.
AmaBhungane requested entry to the corporate share registers of DMM Media and Entertainment (Pty) Ltd, Rosario Investments (Pty) Ltd, and Santaclara Trading (Pty) in December 2019.
When no response was obtained inside the legislated time interval, we sought to implement our rights to entry the share registers by submitting complaints to the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) in April 2020. While some progress has been made – and, in a single case, a compliance discover issued – there was no decision of any of them.