Richard Le Roux, an employee of a Bosasa subsidiary, GTS (formerly known as Sondolo IT), told the commission of inquiry into state capture on Thursday that the company’s special projects team did maintenance work on the properties of a number of important people.
These included Minister of Environmental Affairs Nomvula Mokonyane, Minister of Mineral Resources Gwede Mantashe, former SAA chair Dudu Myeni, former Department of Correctional Services commissioner Linda Mti and MP Vincent Smith.
Work on Mokonyane’s property was done over a period of years, Le Roux told the commission.
Le Roux said in 2013 he was contacted by the company’s CEO, Gavin Watson, who instructed him to meet him and the company’s former COO Angelo Agrizzi at Mokonyane’s property in Krugersdorp.
He said the work done at Mokonyane’s property included installing an electric fence, a CCTV system, a generator distribution board, a pool pump, and a once-off garden clean up.
Le Roux said at the time, he was not sure if Mokonyane was present at the said property.
“I was told by Agrizzi and Watson that it is her property,” he said.
According to an instruction from Watson, if anything needed to be fixed at Mokonyane’s property this had to be done immediately and Agrizzi had to be updated, Le Roux told the commission.
He said he knew of the maintenance of the minister’s house up until he was taken off the special projects team in early 2017.
Le Roux said he would get a call from Watson or Mokonyane’s personal assistant, named Sandy, about something that needed to be fixed, and that Watson’s instruction would be to “just fix it”.
The witness told the commission that whenever the team carried out its special projects it used unbranded vehicles and wore civilian clothing so that it could not be linked back to Bosasa, which was the case when carrying out work at Mokonyane’s property.
Watson’s instruction was that Mokonyane’s property must always receive priority. “It had to get sorted out ASAP,” Le Roux said.
He said to his recollection, clients of special projects did not pay, “it would be paid by Bosasa”.
Le Roux said ongoing maintenance at the properties of special projects clients was paid for in cash, explaining that the team would first assess the property, then get a quotation which would be taken for a signature before he, Le Roux, would collect the cash.
He said all the paperwork for special projects was given to Agrizzi.
Le Roux’s testimony delves into the company’s “special projects” and the team put together to carry these out by installing security systems, CCTV cameras, electric fences, pool pumps and more, for government ministers and ANC officials.
Le Roux said he collected the cash to carry out the team’s work from Jacques Van Zyl and then he would pay the supplier for whatever was needed.
Work on three properties belonging to the Minister of Mineral Resources and ANC chairperson of the governing ANC Gwede Mantashe was also carried out by the Bosasa special projects team.
Le Roux said he received instruction from one of the company’s directors, Papa Leshabane, to carry out the work on Mantashe’s properties.
One of the properties is located in Boksburg, Johannesburg, while two are placed in the Eastern Cape – a farm in Elliot and another property in Cala.
Le Roux said he cannot recall the exact dates and years the work was carried out on Mantashe’s properties.
He said the work on the properties was done on three separate intervals, with work at the two properties in the Eastern Cape done at the same time, while work on the Boksburg property “was done way before that”.
Le Roux said at Mantashe’s Boksburg property the team installed an analogue CCTV camera system and perimeter lighting, and at the Eastern Cape properties, the team installed an IP camera system.
The approximate value of the work done on all three of Mantashe’s properties is R300 000, Le Roux said.
He said the Bosasa special projects team had provided maintenance at Mantashe’s Boksburg property a number of times.
Former SAA chair Dudu Myeni’s Richards Bay property was also serviced by the team, on instruction from one of Bosasa’s directors, Trevor Mathenjwa, as well as Watson.
At Myeni’s property, the team installed a CCTV system and electric fencing, among others.
The team spent three to four weeks at Myeni’s property carrying out the work which cost approximately R250, 000 in total, Le Roux said.
“It was fully paid [for] by Bosasa,” Le Roux said.
The team also carried out work at the properties of former Department of Correctional Services commissioner Linda Mti and former Chairperson of the Standing Committee on the Auditor-General and Portfolio Committee on Correctional Services, Vincent Smith.
Makhosandile Zulu / The Citizen