Former EOH executive Jehan Mackay has taken centre stage in corruption allegations involving payments to senior ANC figures, including the party’s former national spokesman, Zizi Kodwa.
Suspicious payments were made by Mackay, from his personal bank account, to Kodwa (who now serves as deputy minister of state security) and to Siyabulela Sintwa, a former personal assistant to ex-President Jacob Zuma at the ANC’s Luthuli House headquarters, evidence introduced at the judicial commission of inquiry into state capture shows.
EOH subsidiary Tactical Software Solutions (TSS) – founded by Mackay and his father Danny and sold to EOH in 2011 for R130.5-million – allegedly paid off corrupt politicians by making payments to Mackay’s personal bank account at FNB, from which he then transferred money to various ANC bigwigs, supposedly for favours for winning government contracts.
Details of the payments were made in a submission to commission of inquiry by law firm ENSafrica on Wednesday. ENSafrica was commissioned by EOH to investigate malfeasance in its public sector IT contracts after TechCentral reported in February 2019 about Microsoft’s decision to terminate its licence agreements with EOH over a dodgy software-supply agreement involving the South African department of defence. That deal is the subject of an ongoing investigation by the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
Steven Powell, MD of ENS Forensics, a subsidiary of ENSafrica, gave an oral deposition to the commission on Wednesday, along with an affidavit. This followed the testimony given earlier in the week by EOH CEO Stephen van Coller. Van Coller has been waging a war against corruption and poor governance at the IT group.
EOH, under Van Coller, has fired employees implicated in suspected wrongdoing and has submitted reports on alleged corruption to the Hawks for investigation and prosecution. The company has also disclosed suspected irregularities to national treasury and has promised to pay back money to the government where work wasn’t delivered or where the government was overcharged.
Powell’s submission to the state capture commission on Wednesday dealt in detail with specific requests from the commission about certain transactions and companies. Even this small snapshot of the goings-on at EOH has provided an eye-watering account of malfeasance at the listed IT services group, which was led at the time by co-founder Asher Bohbot.
ENSafrica’s evidence shows suspicious payments from Mackay’s personal bank account took place between 26 May 2015 and 29 June 2017 and included various payments to a “Kodwa” (R295 000 in total) and a “Sintwa” (R291 600). Powell testified to the commission that “Kodwa” refers to Zizi Kodwa, and “Sintwa” to Zuma’s former personal assistant at Luthuli House, Siyabulela Sintwa. In fact, Sintwa’s full name is referenced in one of Mackay’s payment references.
A R500 000 payment was also made to a “Mr Nkbinde”, described on the bank transfer reference as a “loan”. This is believed to be Reggie Nkabinde, a former treasurer of the ANC Youth League, Powell said.
It’s not known yet why these payments were made.
The commission asked EOH and ENSafrica to furnish details of contracts and transactions between a company called Molelwane Consulting, where current Johannesburg mayor Geoff Makhubo is a former member, and EOH, its subsidiary TSS Managed Services (TSSMS), a company called Zylec Investments, and former EOH public sector business development executive Patrick Makhubedu, who worked closely with Mackay in the public sector business at EOH.
Makhubedu resigned from EOH on 11 March 2019, the same day ENSafrica requested an interview with him for purposes of its forensic investigation and is now a focus of investigation, Powell said.
The commission asked for a schedule of payments to Molelwane and Makhubo (a close affiliate of Makhubedu’s) by EOH, Zylec, TSSMS and Makhubedu.
Makhubedu and Makhubo are linked to a number of entities that transacted with one another, including Molelwane.
An individual named Reno Nielle Barry was integral in a number of these financial transactions, said Powell. Barry features prominently in one of the companies that appeared to have been used extensively for “concealed and illicit payments”. He is former group financial manager at TSS. Barry provided accounting services to various of these linked entities, including Zylec (where Makhubedu is the key principal), Molelwane, and entities called Mfundi Mobile Networks, Prime Molecular and Grass Farms.
“E-mail evidence that we were able to analyse indicates that Barry made a number of payments, including to Molelwane, at the instruction of Makhubedu. The e-mails … also suggest that Barry assisted Makhubedu, Makhubo and Makhubo’s wife in their personal tax matters,” Powell said. Mfundi Mobile, where Barry is a director, paid more than R34-million for “purported work on public sector projects where we could find no evidence that any work was done”. EOH has reported this apparent corruption to the Hawks for further investigation. — (c) 2020 NewsCentral Media
- Powell is continuing to deliver his testimony at the state capture inquiry