WATCH LIVE | state capture commission continues to hear Free State housing project evidence

23 September 2020 - 10:31 By TimesLIVE

The commission of inquiry into state capture will continue to hear more about the R1bn Free State housing project from former human settlements head of department in the province, Mpho Mokoena.

The commission heard from Mokoena on Tuesday how, in 2010, former Free State human settlements MEC Mosebenzi Zwane allegedly pushed through an “illegal” advance payment scheme for building material to the tune of more than R500m.

Zwane imposed the plan at a meeting with senior officials in his department in October 2010, the commission heard.

This was after a meeting with the national human settlements department, where the Free State delegation was warned that if it did not approve expenditure of the R1bn allocation for low-cost houses, the funds would be redirected to other provinces.

Zwane allegedly developed a scheme which would see the provincial department pay building material suppliers in advance before work could resume — this in a rush to beat the end-of-financial-year deadline, which was four months away.

Mokoena said he told Zwane that what he was proposing was “illegal” and would not stand the test of procurement legal prescripts. But Zwane was having none of it, Mokoena claimed. Mokoena said Zwane told him on two separate occasions that if he was not on board he was more than welcome to resign.