Millions 'channelled to Zuma's foundation, cash hidden in Dudu Myeni's home office'

18 February 2020 - 16:12 By ZINGISA MVUMVU
Dudu Myeni, former chair of SAA, Mhlathuze Water and the Jacob Zuma Foundation, allegedly facilitated payments to the foundation and arranged for cash to be delivered to her homes, the Zondo commission heard on Tuesday.
Dudu Myeni, former chair of SAA, Mhlathuze Water and the Jacob Zuma Foundation, allegedly facilitated payments to the foundation and arranged for cash to be delivered to her homes, the Zondo commission heard on Tuesday.
Image: SUNDAY TIMES

The Zondo commission on Monday heard how millions of rands were channelled to the Jacob Zuma Foundation and “hidden” at former SAA and Mhlathuze Water board chairperson Dudu Myeni's home office.

According to the witness — named “Mr X” over fears for his life — his company was used to receive money from Myeni's son Thalente before it was transferred to the foundation, which Myeni also chairs.

Furthermore, testified Mr X, some of the money was withdrawn in cash and “hidden” at Myeni's home office in Richards Bay.

Mr X's company, Isibonelo Construction, received more than R3m in three separate payments from Premier Attraction 1016 — a company owned solely by Thalente.

The first payment of R1m from Myeni's son to Mr X came in October 2015. Mr X then received an instruction from Myeni to withdraw the cash, which he did, and then delivered it to Myeni's home office.

“Ms Myeni called me. I went to apply for a withdrawal from the bank because it was large amounts. I would then deliver the cash at her homes. It was rare for her to collect in person,” he said.

“She had offices at both her homes, so I would go in and hide the money, call her to inform her of where the money was hidden. Because of how close we were, I had access to her homes because I used these offices sometimes. I hid the money because only [she] was meant to collect the cash. Once or twice, I handed the money to her in person.”

Mr X said he and Myeni have known each other for a number of years and once did business together for Richards Bay Minerals, “where we were groomed as small businesses”.

Continuing to talk about the money deposited by Thalente, Mr X said the second payment of R1.1m landed in his business bank account on December 11 2015.

He testified that he was again instructed by Myeni to make a transfer to a particular bank account, which until now he did not know belonged to the Jacob Zuma Foundation.

In February 2016, Thalente deposited a further R1m to Mr X — R800,000 of which was transferred to the foundation, he said.

Mr X told the commission he did not know where the money came from — nor did he recognise the foundation's bank account to which he transferred the money. He also admitted that his company, Isibonelo, had never provided any services to Thalente's company, Premier Attraction.

“Ms Myeni would call me asking me if I saw that there was money that came into my account and would instruct me further what to do with it,” said Mr X. 

Thalente had received R2m from another company, VNA, in June 2015 for work his company did not do, as he admitted at the commission on Monday. When Thalente started paying Mr X's company, his bank account balance was apparently at R9m. It was not revealed at the commission where the rest of the money came from.

Mr X concluded his testimony on Tuesday afternoon.

Mboniseni Majola - an engineer at Mhlathuze Water who allegedly facilitated inflated invoices and payments to Mr X, which would be collected via other shelf companies - was expected to appear next, but his legal representatives have notified the commission that he is sick and therefore unable to appear. 


X