MINERAL Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe told the Zondo Commission on Friday night that former Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson bribed shop stewards in hostels for catering contracts.
Mantashe revealed this when he was testifying at the commission while being led by evidence leader Advocate Viwe Notshe. He was being asked if he knew Watson, whose employee Papa Leshabane undertook to pay the cost for installation of security cameras at his three properties in Gauteng and Eastern Cape.
“I know Gavin. We crossed wires earlier in my life as a trade unionist when he wanted contracts in mines and we had to fight when he was bribing shop stewards and I said ‘No, No, we are not to agree to this”.
Asked what Watson was bribing them for, Mantashe said he was bribing them for catering contracts at the hostels. He was catering in many hostels. We fought in many of the hostels with him,” Mantashe said.
Former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi previously testified that Bosasa targeted certain people regarded as influential such as ministers and did favours for them.
He had told the commission that they did some security installations in Mantashe’s properties in his Boksburg home and two properties in Cala in the Eastern Cape, including his farm. But, Mantashe is disputing Agrizzi’s version saying there were two attempted break-ins in his Boksburg property.
He said he had tasked his security adviser Mzonke Nyakaza to instal security cameras but Leshabane, whom he knew as a friend and family friend offered to do the installation free of charge.
Mantashe said Nyakaza bought the cameras to instal in his property and Leshabane arrived and they had discussions also said he knew Bosasa was responsible for juvenile centres in the West Rand.
Mantashe also said he was not a minister who headed a department despite his position as secretary-general of the ANC at the time. Notshe put it to Mantashe that he knew that Leshabane worked for a company headed by someone who attempted to bribe shop stewards.
Were you not concerned this was a bribe”? he asked. In his response Mantashe said he was not amenable to bribes.I am known for that then. I am known for that now.
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