Nomvula Mokonyane, Bosasa, and all those repairs

Zondo Commission delves into the former minister’s ‘home repairs’.
Luxury life. An Aston Martin, guardhouse, generator, swimming pool, water features, CCTVs, electric fencing – Mokonyane will have to explain all this and more. Image: Moneyweb

Former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi’s 2019 testimony to the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, in which he fingered a number of allegedly corrupt parties, including politicians, was again the central focus at Monday’s (July 6) hearings.

Included was Agrizzi’s affidavit dated January 15, 2019, dealing with the alleged repairs carried out at the house of former minister Nomvula Mokonyane by Bosasa.

Mokonyane was minister of environmental affairs from November 22, 2018 to May 25, 2019. Prior to that she was minister of communications (2018), minister of water and sanitation (2014-2018), and Gauteng premier (2009-2014).

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Evidence leader Viwe Notshe SC also referred Judge Raymond Zondo to Agrizzi’s supplementary statement, Agrizzi’s response to Mokonyane’s affidavit, and the statement of Richard le Roux (a former employee of Bosasa), all of which testified to the repairs carried out at Mokonyane’s house.

Background to Monday’s testimony

Zondo gave a brief background to what the day’s testimony would cover for the benefit of Notshe, who is leading evidence at the commission for the first time:

  • Agrizzi gave evidence in 2019 implicating a number of people, including certain politicians. Agrizzi testified that while he was at Bosasa there were a number of people who were given monthly payments by Bosasa, and Mokonyane was one of them.
  • In 2019 Agrizzi and Richard le Roux also gave evidence that there were a number of projects within Bosasa, in terms of which Bosasa installed CCTV cameras and other security equipment at the homes of certain people, including that of Mokonyane.
  • As Zondo recalled, Mokonyane had deposed an affidavit and denied that Bosasa had paid for any repairs at her home. She also denied that Agrizzi had ever been to her house, that goods were delivered to her house, or that she had ever received money from Bosasa.

Recapping Agrizzi’s testimony

For the sake of completeness, below is a summary of Agrizzi’s testimony given in 2019 in regard to Mokonyane:

  • According to Agrizzi’s affidavit, the repairs at Mokonyane’s home included: “maintenance, placement of CCTV cameras, repair of pool, electric fencing, lighting, minor building repairs etc. I would estimate the initial cost at about R300 000 with a continual cost monthly. Gardening maintenance would be done by the Bosasa internal team, and thus it is difficult to ascertain the costs”.
  • Mokonyane also got Bosasa to pay for former president Jacob Zuma’s birthday cake, expensive goodies for Christmas including cold drinks, lambs ready for the spit braai, beef braai packs, expensive alcohol and cold drinks.
  • An Audi A3 cabriolet was “arranged” for Mokonyane’s daughter by Agrizzi on Bosasa’s behalf.
  • Bosasa provided funding for funerals of relatives, including that of Mokonyane’s late son.
  • Bosasa’s CEO at the time, the late Gavin Watson, would deliver R50 000 to Mokonyane on a monthly basis.
  • The costs of numerous functions exceeded R2.4 million.
  • Car hire could amount to R80 000 per trip.

Project Blouberg

The commission has been carrying out an investigation into Mokonyane’s denials.

The commission’s team, together with an apprentice electrician who had been involved in the work that was carried out, paid a visit to Mokonyane’s residence to view some of the security instalments, to obtain identifying features of the house, and to take photographs. Mokonyane’s lawyers were present. Zondo remarked that there was much cooperation from Mokonyane and her lawyers in regard to the investigation at her home.

The repairs to Mokonyane’s house were termed ‘Project Blouberg’ by Bosasa.

Work carried out

Renier van Biljon, a qualified electrician whose company San Electrical was sub-contracted by Bosasa to carry out maintenance work at Mokonyane’s home, has since emigrated to New Zealand.

The affidavit deposed by Van Biljon was read out to the commission.

Van Biljon received instructions from Richard le Roux of Bosasa, who would inform him of the address where services had to be carried out and meet him at the site, where Van Biljon would evaluate the work to be done (such as fitting CCTVs).

Van Biljon had to ensure that the address where the repairs were carried out was not on his invoice to Bosasa.

Briefly, Van Biljon in his affidavit confirmed the address of the house, which corresponds with Mokonyane’s address, and that various electrical work was carried out over approximately 10 visits to Mokonyane’s home (repairs to the pool distribution board, various lights, and water features).

Charl le Roux, who was employed by San Electrical as an apprentice electrician from 2013 to 2019, would be given work by Van Biljon. Van Biljon dealt with all the administration such as the invoicing and receipting of money. He was not involved in the day-to-day running of the business. Supplies were purchased from Carlton Lighting, situated in Krugersdorp.

Charl le Roux, whose cousin is married to Van Biljon, went to Mokonyane’s home a number of times to carry out repairs (backup power system, outside light, water feature, and ceiling downlights).

Guardhouse, guard, multi-million-rand car

He was asked to recall some of the features of the house he had seen, which included a guardhouse on the left of the property, a guard, an Aston Martin (the 2020 price tag of which ranges from R3 million to R6.1 million) under a special cover, a pool, and a generator that was situated behind the house.

Evidence leader Notshe spent some time confirming the type of repair work carried out by Van Biljon per his affidavit, as well as the address, and did the same with Charl le Roux. Expensive items – such as the Aston Martin, the generator, and the pool with all its special features – were extensively covered.

It is apparent that the commission can ably prove that the repairs were carried out at Mokonyane’s home. Mokonyane will have to explain how she accumulated such expensive property.

Naturally, this will have to accord with all the income tax returns she and her husband have submitted over the years.

Still, one would expect that the South African Revenue Service is working on its lifestyle questionnaire for politicians.

It will be interesting to see how Mokonyane wriggles out of this fix.

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At what point do we as South African tax payers stop paying ?

Never, once SARS has flagged you the prickly pear in your nether end will be there for ever.

The problem with corruption is that you always end up paying.

The only way to get to not pay is to stop corruption.

The only way to stop corruption is to not have the ANC.

Unfortunately not only the ANC … see Seinhoff, Tongaat-Hulett, for example.

Let’s not pretend this is only an ANC problem. They are just far more ‘transparent’. The Nats were no angels either and enriched themselves as well.

Just have one look at private shareblock developments such as Oubos in the Tsitsikamma for one…

Let me rephrase that:

The only way to stop corruption is to not have the ANC in power and to have solid institutions that stop public sector and private sector corruption (yes you have corruptor and corruptee).

The Apartheid era was also full of corruption, but they practiced more a form of sustainable corruption as opposed to the unsustainable form we have with the ANC.

This corruption was done and fostered and condoned by ANC. ANC=the problem. Not Nats or Steinhoff. Only illiterate myopic persons cannot grasp that.

It wpuld be easier to leave if you’re a taxpayer

Simple. Wait for Emirates to start operating and leave the country.

We loved it … we really did.

But idiots took over and messed it up.

Wheels turn slowly and all that but surely to goodness someone can be fired. And not re-allocated.

Make it a requirement that a minister has to have a suitable qualification or experience in the field they are a minister e.g. minister of water should be an engineer. Minister of justice a lawyer etc.

Gina, you’re so right. Ms Mokonyane completed matric and collected a few certificates, all of which only qualified her to become a (dubious) politician. Her main claim to fame (being an organiser for student revolt) likewise didn’t prepare her for a job as minister. In fact, in the private sector she would’t rise to anything better than a supervisor. Yet, here we are. She is a minister who can’t manage the job, so she does what she can do, which seems to be to enrich herself at the expense of the tax payer. This is precisely what happens when you just don’t have the tools to flourish in the 21 century. You use your connections, political clout, corruption, etc to collect what is not yours. Probably the biggest failure of the ANC has been their total disregard for education, experience and ethical behaviour. It inevitably lead to people who are forced to steal that which they can’t create (and we have 1000’s of people in positions in the private and public sector doing the same). It is saddening that the party, who once held the moral high ground on the international stage, squandered the advantage by refusing to commit themselves to do the hard work required to gain the qualifications and experience needed to realise their potential, rather preferring to remain stealers and destroyers, instead of becoming creators and growers.

Well summarised!
How could this not end in tears ?

Somebody needs to pay tax on these “donations”.
Who is it going to be Mr Kieswetter? And when?

Well, Jacob has never paid tax on Nkandla, so don’t hold your breath.

The ANC – to a man , are a bunch of thieves. Stealing is all they know how to do. That is why this beautiful Country will fail.

It’s not a donation, it is for services to be rendered and therefore fully taxable in Mokonyane’s hands and because it is in respect of a bribe (presumably), not deductible by Bosasa. So SARS should be auditing Bosasa to disallow the expenditure and raising assessments on Mokonyane. But I would be surprised if anything is done. They are not in their roles to comply with the law by carrying out their mandate, they are there to milk more tax from those already trying to comply as far as I can see. When we see one of the politicians being charged and actually having to pay tax on their corrupt activities then I will believe it. The DA or Freedom Front Plus or one of the other political parties should ask the question in parliament as to how many of those implicated in the Zondo commission have been investigated by SARS, how much tax has been raised on them, how much has been collected, how many have reached settlements with SARS for lesser amounts and finally, how much tax was forfeited as a result of those settlements. This does not involve individual taxpayers but statistics and therefore should cause a problem with the secrecy provisions SARS hides behind when it suits them.

Always just jobs for pals…f–k competence – that is a Western Bedtime Story.

But that is a good thing for a corrupt government and party….

they sinking in their own poo.

the problem that the burden is on the tax payer.

in country where institutions work well…. ANC would be long gone.

When a political party like the ANC never has the integrity to apply the law to its own cadres, the party has way since lost its integrity and ability to be accountable.

The ANC is on trial and it is guilty.

Cadre deployment is a crime against humanity

This is the RZ Smoke and Mirrors show. No doubt will run longer than Days of our lives”.

You can pick up anywhere, who sleeps with who, who is angry with who. Only this one will be ‘oh that minister did what? Now this one, where did that one disappear to. How much did they steal?

Nauseating.

And Red Ants? Just asking…

Last week at the very same commission, Popo Molefe essentially implicated the ANC top 6 at the time, which includes our current President, in corruption by virtue of the fact they he claimed to have informed them of what was going on at Transnet, and yet they failed to do anything.

What would ordinarily be considered as damaging claims, barely made a ripple in our corruption fatigued country. And yet here we are, trying to convince ourselves that the fight is still there to be won.

With regards to Mokonyane, I believe that anyone who has power to “pick up the Rand” at will, should be entitled to a few perks.

The current President is to blame. This is all happening under his watch. See him for what he is.

Any rand she picks up, she puts in her pocket.

One of the fiscal policy objectives is the ‘redistribution of wealth.’ It is when the government makes transfer payments(such as grants) to supplement the financial needs of POOR! With this government, the wealthy and the masses are taxed to fund the lavish lifestyles of ANC hirelings who are already financially ‘rich’ for doing nothing.

The deviation from the fiscal policy courtesy of corruption and oversight has rendered the entire policy a nominal piece of work.

These articles, commissions and investigations are a waste of effort, money and space. Extrapolating the trend exposes the consequences these cadres will experience. At most, said consequence will be them blushing. But that assumes they are capable of feeling guilt and shame, which in itself is factually incorrect.

Aloota continua.

At what point will she threaten to urinate on Judge Zondo or his Commission?

hereshoping
in reply to jblack, with all the tax we pay and the exchange rate that the ANC have caused it is not that easy for the hard workers to leave.

Thank you for summarizing the previous Zondo hearings regarding this particular wiggly worm.
It’s so hard to stay positive about the future.
There’s a nursery rhyme song about a wiggly worm. It is a cheerful little ditty that I find helps the mood, as we watch the clown car spin out of control. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_e0PVI9RknI

By reading the comments on Moneyweb we have to conclude that intelligent and well-informed people despise this government. Citizens react to governance issues with utter contempt. We have disdain for the rulers. They are below us, not worthy of respect. They challenge our humanitarian principles, they destroy our national pride and trample upon our sense of compassion.

This government keeps us emotionally fit because they provide us with daily exercise in mindfulness. They confront us to rise above ourselves and to count our blessings. They force us to acknowledge the many positive things that we experience daily. They provide us with an example of the type of personality and behaviour patterns we warn our children against.

They show us how the regressive thought processes and inferior cognitive ability of leaders can increase the hardships for the poor. They teach us a lesson that the majority will never learn, a lesson that history has already taught us many times before.

Sure the NATS were corrupt most politicians are, being unemployable and all that, but gentlemen and ladies the ANC are the champions, top of the pile, first class, no where in the world quite so rotten as this lot.

By the time all this brooha is done we we be ‘all poor together’. Those in power will be kings of the poor.

Entire books have been written about the transgressions of Zuma, Magashule and others and yet they continue parade with the arrogance that would make the Nats proud.

Why is the Zondo Commission itself wasting so much money, when they have to investigate the waste of State funds?

They use very expensive private counsel to lead evidence and represent the criminals, when State advocates could have done it for free (they are already paid by the taxpayer). The criminals could have been represented by Legal Aid counsel at a fraction of the cost.

@ Groen Would you want a State Advocate to represent you?

@ Groen. Not sure where you have been the last 26 years, but the answer is very simple.
Each and every central government department, provincial department, municipality, SOE, enforcement agency, commission, authority, board, etc is manned to the gunnels with deployed cadres. None of them are there to perform any actual work or to provide any actual services to the public. They are there for the sole purpose of drawing salaries. As much and as fast as possible, and then some. Oh, and to appoint family and friends to the ever expanding cornucopia of “jobs” being created at exponential pace in all of the above organisations. There are no persons in the employment of the State able to provide the services needed by the Zondo Commission.

Questions have been raised regarding the cost of the Zondo Commission, some R700 million, borne by the taxpayer, which could be applied to helping the poor and needy and to boosting the economy.

Everyone is entitled to a fair hearing (although the Omission seems to have no results, so why bother?) but when a thieving parasite like this racist incompetent wastes everyone’s time and money with denials and obfuscations, they should be forced to pay for the Commission’s time and expenses, over and above what they have looted.

It would also be nice if Edward Kieswetter eased up on harassing innocent taxpayers and went after some of the Royal Game big-time looters.

End of comments.

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