LIVE FEED: State Capture Inquiry – September 28, 2020, Newsline

Johannesurg –The Zondo commission will on Monday morning hear further testimony regarding corruption allegations related to a R1 billion Free State housing project.

The inquiry will hear evidence from former head of the Free State department of human settlements Nthimotse Mokhesi and former provincial government employee Martin Tsoametsi.

Last week the inquiry heard evidence from former Free State MEC for human settlements Mosebenzi Zwane.

He faced tough questions at the commission regarding his oversight role and allegations that he illegally pushed for more than 100 contractors to be appointed to build 14 000 houses as part of a R1 billion Free State housing project.

Witnesses who appeared at the inquiry earlier this week, testified that in 2010 the Free State department of human settlements faced the threat of a housing grant being withdrawn by the national government because of underspending.

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Zwane is said to have spear-headed a plan to ensure that millions of rand were spent in prepayment to contractors and suppliers for houses that were not delivered.

The witnesses said Zwane’s motivation was to make sure the national government did not withdraw the housing grant.

Zwane denied the accusations against him.

Advocate Paul Pretorius, the evidence leader, questioned Zwane on whether he knew at the time of the existence of a Housing Act which gave him various powers, one of those powers was the ability to appoint a board of advisors for housing.

Zwane said he was unaware of this act. He said he was never alerted to it by his subordinates, but he insisted that he knew the prescripts of financial management legislation governing departments.

Zwane was even unable to answer questions linked to the act and asked that he be given time to go through the act at a later stage.

The former MEC’s lack of knowledge on key legislation came as a surprise to Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.

“It is a matter of concern to me that there is an act (Housing Act) that the MEC responsible for human settlements knows nothing about it for a year in office. One would have expected that they (MEC) would want to to be familiar with the rules and their ability to perform oversight over the HOD,” Zondo said.

Zwane will finish giving evidence at the inquiry on Tuesday.

IOL