Johannesburg – Nontsasa Memela, the former head of procurement at SAA Technical told the Zondo Commission on Thursday that she put in an offer to purchase a property for R2.8 million in April 2015 despite being declined for a bond of R1.4 million a month earlier.
Advocate Kate Hofmeyr was questioning Memela about a series of property transactions which she entered into that year.
Initially, Memela claimed that she could not remember putting in an offer of R1.4 million for the property in Raceway. When presented with a document detailing the offer she conceded that she and her husband had intended to buy the property but had difficulty securing a bond from their bank.
Memela claimed that she made multiple attempts to obtain a bond from the bank during that period.
“In 2015 there was an issue with the banks where they would not grant a bond, or would not give a 100 percent (home loan) so I kept on trying,” she testified.
Asked by Hofmeyr how she would be able to commit to a R2.8 million property acquisition without a bond bareley a month later, Memela said that she had an agreement with her mother that the proceeds of the sale of land belonging to the older woman would be used toward the purchase price of the property Memela planned to buy.
Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo asked Memela how she could make a concrete offer to purchase the property for R2.8 million of her mother had not even secured a buyer for her land.
“Ms Mamela, if you are making an offer to purchase a property for a certain amount, without stipulating in the document that the offer was dependent on another transaction, then you are creating the impression to the seller that you have got the money,” Zondo said.
Memela strenuously denied that there was anything untoward about the offer, repeatedly stressing that she expected to pay for the property with the proceeds from her mother’s land sale.
Memela testified at an earlier appearance at the commission that JM Aviation director Vuyo Ndzeku had purchased land from her mother for R2.5 million. That money was deposited into Memela’s account and she would later use the bulk of it to purchase a property in Bedfordview for R2.8 million.
US-based aviation company AAR Corporation and SA-based JM Aviation were awarded a 5-year tender worth R1.4 billion to supply components to SAAT in 2016. Memela has denied that the property sale between her mother and Ndzeku influenced her decision-making in awarding the tender.
Interestingly, it emerged during Hofmeyr’s questioning that Memela used R1.5 million but did not return the remainder of the money, more than R800 000, to her mother after purchasing the Bedfordview property.
When pressed on the matter, she insisted that she used the money to pay for various goods and services for her mother’s benefit.
It further emerged that Memela did not have her husband’s consent to enter into the property sale despite the couple being married in community of property.
Memela insisted, despite having the legal requirements explained to her by the evidence leader, that she did not believe that she needed her husband’s consent.