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#StateCaptureInquiry @StateCaptureCom proceedings were set to begin at 10:00 but have been delayed. Former SAA CFO Phumeza Nhantsi is set to continue her evidence this morning on national carrier, South African Airways (SAA).
[JUST IN] Meanwhile, in an unprecedented move the @StateCaptureCom spokesperson has announced that there will be evidence this Saturday, 22 June when the inquiry sits for the first time on a Saturday and further information will be provided when the witness is announced.
#StateCaptureInquiry Cynthia Stimple, former Group Treasurer at SAA, who implicated Nhantsi in her evidence, is attending proceedings. The Chairperson Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has entered the hall and proceedings begin.
#StateCaptureInquiry Zondo says proceedings began after 10:00 today to deal with "urgent matters" relating to today's evidence. Advocate Kate Hofmeyr notes that, following certain instructions yesterday, efforts were made by inquiry staff who sought to contact Masotsha Mngadi.
#StateCaptureInquiry Hofmeyr notes that Rule 3.3 notices were sent out but, according to communication from Mngadi received by the @StateCaptureCom this morning, from his side her reports he did not receive the notice.
#StateCaptureInquiry The inquiry's staff could not get hold of Mngadi by phone yesterday, says Hofmeyr, but received communication from him this morning. Based on his report he did not receive his Rule 3.3 notice, the evidence of Daniel Mahlangu of BnP Capital will be deferred.
[BREAKING] The evidence of today's second witness @StateCaptureCom has been deferred following a report from an implicated person, Masotsha Mngadi, that he did not receive his Rule 3.3 notice. The inquiry will investigate this administrative issue, says Advocate Kate Hofmeyr.
#StateCaptureInquiry Nhantsi resumes her testimony. She deals with the questions she raised about BnP Capital's absent FSB registration. Hofmeyr asks Nhantsi when Dudu Myeni would have been aware Mngadi was associated with BnP Capital.
#StateCaptureInquiry Nhantsi responds, "I really don't know, Chair." She says she would be speculating. Hofmeyr refers to WhatsApp communications indicating Mngadi was communicating with Myeni around the sourcing of funds and date from around 31 May 2016. Nhantsi agrees.
#StateCaptureInquiry Hofmeyr summarises Nhantsi's view indicated yesterday that the proposed BnP Capital's cancellation fee was a scheme, she considered perpetrated by Myeni and Mngadi, intended to misappropriate SAA funds. Nhantsi agrees. Note: This deal ultimately fell through.
Zondo tells Nhantsi to indicate precisely how Myeni pressured her, as Nhantsi claims. "She says she does not write anything down. I would receive calls [...] from the Chairperson of the Board. One thing that is consistent [...] all the time the pressure was more," says Nhantsi.
#StateCaptureInquiry Nhantsi says she was subject to pressure following Nhantsi's inclusion of a non-binding clause in the BnP Capital cancellation agreement. Nhantsi reports she was told the inclusion of that clause was unnecessary.
#StateCaptureInquiry "Now, the truth was there was a certain degree of urgency in ensuring the funds for SAA [...] if she were to say, yes, she did put pressure on you but the pressure she put on you was legitimate [...] what would you say?" Zondo asks Nhantsi.
#StateCaptureInquiry Nhantsi agrees it was urgent and the team was aware that certain loans were reaching maturity, however, she claims the pressure to which she says she was subjected by Myeni was about not taking things to the SAA board when these were board transactions.
Zondo asks Nhantsi for her response to a hypothetical response from Myeni that she did not need to take those matters to the SAA board. Nhantsi says the recent delegation of authority was signed soon after Nhantsi's arrival and so it was very fresh in everyone's minds.
#StateCaptureInquiry "In a way she is asking us to do illegal things," says Nhantsi of Dudu Myeni, then board chair at SAA. Hofmeyr then asks Nhantsi about a National Treasury instruction about constraints on the decisions SOE boards could take.
This instruction from @TreasuryRSA was effective 1 May 2016. "Chair, this was not implemented at SAA," says Nhantsi. "I am not aware if it was known at the time. Also, I think I became aware of it late in the year." Hofmeyr replies, "Well, it's a National Treasury instruction."
Hofmeyr asks Nhantsi if Nhantsi is aware of her duties under the Prevention of Organised Crime Act (POCA). She confirms. Then Hofmeyr asks if Nhantsi accepts that Nhantsi did not act in the best interests in SAA when Nhantsi signed off the cancellation fee to BnP Capital.
#StateCaptureInquiry Nhantsi responds insisting that she did act in SAA's best interests under the circumstances. She says, "Whilst we were under pressure, I did not act negligently [...] if the Commission can also understand the pressure we were under, I am also scared."
#StateCaptureInquiry Zondo says he wants to know more about what made Nhantsi scared. She reports on the political climate at SAA. In fact, she says, she was very excited when she was first appointed but later said to her husband maybe she joined SAA at the wrong time.
Nhantsi reports on the recruitment of a man who'd reportedly prayed and then had a dream in which he reported god told him Myeni would help him. He was then interviewed for an SAA position. He failed the vetting process but, claims Nhantsi, was called to answer to Myeni about it.
#StateCaptureInquiry Nhantsi reports she was instructed to take the first morning flight to Durban to meet with Myeni. She claims Myeni asked her how this man, who held and LLB, could fail the test, or vetting. Nhantsi says she responded even chartered accountants failed tests.
#StateCaptureInquiry "Does this mean you are not going to take instructions, or implement instructions from the board [...] I could see from her face, Chair, my answers are wrong," says Nhantsi reporting on Myeni's alleged words in the conversation on a recruit who failed a test.
#StateCaptureInquiry "It was strange," says Nhantsi in reply to a question from Hofmeyr on the vetting by the State Security Agency (SSA) of about 100 people working at SAA.
#StateCaptureInquiry In one case, a senior in SAA's finance department, was reportedly flagged during the SSA vetting for holding dual citizenship, but Nhantsi suspects the scheme was to oust the incumbent so someone who could be Myeni's "eyes and ears" in the finance department.
[SUMMARISED] #StateCaptureInquiry Nhantsi: I was scared of my life. I was never scared of losing my job, because I believe I work hard, I am skilled and I can get another job. It was clear that I was eventually going to lose, especially after the cancellation of BnP Capital.
"You have got a shelf life with Ms Myeni," Nhantsi reports a colleague told her. She then claims this colleague, Yakhe Kwinana, told Nhantsi that Myeni would disguise herself and go to a coffee shop in Sunnyside, then file tip offs with a whistle blower entity to root out people.
#StateCaptureInquiry For more on the allegations Nhantsi reports Kwinana shared with Nhantsi regarding then board chair Myeni allegedly disguising herself and reporting SAA insiders, see the article below.…
#StateCaptureInquiry Hofmeyr asks if Nhantsi's life was every threatened and Nhantsi says no, but she has testified she feared for her life, for example, when she met with Myeni in Durban over the vetting of an applicant seeking work at SAA.
#StateCaptureInquiry "Those documents are not meant to leave the procurement department at all [...] we had to firm up the procurement department [...] we had to tighten up the security, so not all the SAA employees can enter into the procurement department," says Nhantsi.
Hofmeyr puts Stimple's claims about what happened the day Stimple was handed her suspension letter, namely the claim that Nhantsi recalled Stimple from attending a National Treasury meeting allegedly because Nhantsi did not want Stimple to hand over the BnP Capital papers.
"No, I didn't say that to her [...] I wanted to come back so that we can level the ground [...] why did she take the documents when she knows she is not supposed to have them," says Nhantsi in reply to Stimple's claim on being recalled so as not to show National Treasury papers.
[PARAPHRASED] #StateCaptureInquiry Hofmeyr then runs through several questions regarding Nhantsi's evidence, including whether Nhantsi saw a scheme at work by Myeni of SAA and Mngadi of Nedbank to enrich themselves at the expense of SAA. Nhantsi agrees.
#StateCaptureInquiry Hofmeyr then asks Nhantsi if it is Nhantsi's evidence that Yakhe Kwinana reported to Nhantsi a claim that Myeni used to make false whistle blowing reports against those she wanted out of SAA. Nhantsi agrees.
#StateCaptureInquiry Hofmeyr asks Nhantsi if it is Nhanti's evidence that Myeni used SSA vetting to remove people Myeni did not want in SAA and that Myeni wanted other people to be appointed without proper foundation. "Agree, Chair," responds Nhantsi.
#StateCaptureInquiry Zondo asks Nhantsi if it is fair to say she sought to protect the interests of SAA while also protecting herself and her own interests. "Yes, Chair, it would be fair," she replies, highlighting her fear among other issues discussed.
#StateCaptureInquiry Nhantsi says she appreciates @StateCaptureCom "for us to be heard" especially from an executive point of view, and gives thanks for an opportunity to express frustrations. She refers to a question from Zondo yesterday if she was the right person for the job.
#StateCaptureInquiry Nhantsi says she was the right person for the job of Acting CFO at SAA, and she has "always" acted in the "best interests" of the company where she has been employed, she says even though she lost her job, she learnt a lot and she is the better for it.
#StateCaptureInquiry Zondo thanks Nhantsi for her evidence, says he will still hear more from others, and implores her "do encourage others that you know [...] to share with the commission" and he still believes "there are many out there who know a lot" what happened at SOEs.
#StateCaptureInquiry Zondo thanked and excused Nhantsi. The tea break was announced, now evidence has resumed, however not with the next witness as planned, due to a report that a Rule 3.3 notice from the inquiry did not reach implicated person, Mngadi.
#StateCaptureInquiry The @StateCaptureCom is now dealing with allegations regarding SA Express in the North West and the outsourcing of handling functions at two airports. Timothy Nhlanhla Ngwenya of SA Express is testifying.
#StateCaptureInquiry Ngwenya says that there was a tripartite agreement between the following:
• North West Department of Transport
• SA Express
• Koroneka, the North West company contracted to run handling services at two North West airports
#StateCaptureInquiry Ngwenya reports that he met Basadi Tlatsana in 2016, and she announced she was the director of Koroneka Trading and Projects CC. Ngwenya has testified Brian van Wyk advised Tlatsana to introduce certain directors in order to secure work with SA Express.
#StateCaptureInquiry Ngwenya testifies that Tlatsana reported to him she signed a contract but did not receive a copy from Van Wyk, and he reports was not actively involved in the invoicing for tens of millions of rand in submissions to SA Express.
#StateCaptureInquiry Over time, says Ngwenya, conflict and tension grew between Tlatsana and Van Wyk and Van Wyk, he claims, sought to remove Koroneka as a service provider. “He was the big head of the commercial department,” says Ngwenya reporting on Van Wyk’s SA Express post.
#StateCaptureInquiry Ngwenya claims another company replaced Koroneka and was paid by SA Express for work, he claims, the company did not do. “There was no signed contract at the time, I did not see any signed contract,” he says. It sounds like the company’s name may be Valuetec.
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