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Sunday Times

South Africa: ANC linked to e-tolling companies


Johannesburg – The SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) must disclose the names of all 33 sub-contractors involved in the collection of e-tolls on Gauteng highways, the DA said on Sunday.

“This is after disturbing reports [on Sunday] about African National Congress links to companies that will benefit from the e-tolling,” Democratic Alliance spokesperson Jack Bloom said in a statement.

The DA has asked Public Protector Thuli Madonsela to investigate the controversial Gauteng e-toll collection contracts.

On Sunday, Bloom said he had received acknowledgement of his request.

“It is vital that this investigation goes ahead so that we know the truth about who benefits from these controversial contracts, and whether there was any corruption,” he said.

The Sunday Times has reported that politically-connected companies stand to benefit from e-tolling contracts.

Allegations

According to the newspaper, these included Tsebo Holdings, South Africa’s largest catering company, which was 15% owned by Nozala Investments and 15% by Lereko.

The Sunday Times reported that Nozala was headed by Salukazi Dakile-Hlongwane, a trustee of the ANC front company Chancellor House, and that Lereko was owned by former environment minister Valli Moosa and Chancellor House trustee Popo Molefe.

Other companies which stood to benefit were Vodacom and GijimaAST, which was 35% owned by billionaire businessman Robert Gumede, which won the two largest sub-contracts.

JSE-listed Gijima was awarded the contract to design and run the project’s IT system, the Sunday Times reported.

Molefe was reportedly not aware that Tsebo had any e-tolling contract until told of this by the Sunday Times.

“We as Lereko has not been involved in any discussions about e-tolling. We’re not even on Tsebo’s board, so we have no influence,” he told the newspaper.

Bribes

The 33 sub-contractors were signed up by the electronic toll consortium (ETC), after it was awarded the main R6.6 billion contract by Sanral in 2009. The ETC is responsible for collecting e-tolls.

The Sunday Times reported that the ETC had provided it with the names of only nine of the sub-contractors this week.

In an interview with the Sunday Times, ETC chief executive Salahdin Yacoubi said he would not release the full list of sub-contractors until he had “obtained permission” from them.

He said he had “nothing to hide” and would “collaborate with any investigation” into the beneficiaries of the e-toll contracts.

The Sunday Times also reported that a major beneficiary was the Swedish company Kapsch TrafficCom, which owned 40% of the main contractor.

The company confirmed to the newspaper that, until 2000, it was owned by arms company SAAB, which admitted in June to paying bribes of more than R24m to ensure it was picked to supply Gripen jets to South Africa in the arms deal.

The e-tolling system was halted last Saturday until a full court review could be carried out to determine whether it should be scrapped.

– SAPA

South Africa police chief faces suspension


AFP – Sat, Sep 24, 2011

South Africa’s top policeman is expected to be suspended in the coming days over allegedly fraudulent police leases, the Sunday Times reported.

According to the South African Sunday paper, President Jacob Zuma will sign a letter suspending Bheki Cele upon his return from New York, where he attended the UN general assembly.

The national police commissioner was accused by the country’s anti-graft body of turning a blind eye to lease agreements reached with businessman Roux Shabangu for police office space at three times the market rate.

Zuma’s spokesman was quoted by the newspaper as admitting that a suspension had “the potential for causing some uncertainty in the police force.”

South Africa’s crime intelligence chief Richard Mdluli appeared in court on Thursday over fraud allegations, adding to a murder charge which led to his suspension in March.

Cele was appointed police chief in 2009 to replace Jackie Selebi, who had also been suspended on corruption charges and was last year sentenced to 15 years in jail.

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