Durban – Lucky Montana, the former chief executive of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) says more details about the R80 million donation from Maria Gomes’ owned Swifambo Rail company in 2016 would be laid bare at the ongoing Zondo Commission which is probing allegations of state capture.
In an interview with Independent Media on Monday, Montana said most of the details which are currently restricted from the public, are contained in an affidavit he submitted to the commission three weeks ago.
“The full details are contained in my statement I submitted to DCJ (deputy chief justice) Zondo over three weeks ago. I have not been given a date as yet,” he said.
Mbuyiselo Stemela, the commission’s spokesperson, did not respond when asked when Montana would be given the platform as per his long-standing wish to testify.
During the interview with Independent Media, Montana fiercely stuck to his claims that Mkhize, on behalf of the ANC, received the money from Swifambo.
“In terms of the amounts, I do not know the exact amount except that Ms Gomes and… each received approximately R40 million from Mr Auswell Mashaba (Swifambo director). I spoke to Dr Mkhize in June/July 2016 who confirmed receiving some of the money and then confirmed this with Ms Gomes in London in September 2016. They both confirmed that monies were paid between them. I was present when Dr Mkhize, on more than one occasion, requested money from Ms Gomes who agreed to make these payments. These discussions took place at the home of Ms Gomes in Athol, Johannesburg.
“Ms Gomes has been previously attacked in the media as if she was in some business relationship with the former president, Jacob Zuma. The truth is that Maria Gomes worked very closely with Dr Zweli Mkhize as ANC Treasurer-General and made payments to Dr Mkhize and/or the ANC in that context. I am setting the record straight in my Statement to the Commission,” Montana claimed.
Mkhize’s spokesperson, Lwazi Manzi, said the minister could not respond to Montana’s claim as he was locked in a meeting with the World Health Organisation on Monday.
While this could be heavily contested, Montana said he was itching to use his appearance to set the record straight regarding the issue of PRASA’s “tall trains” and the suspected corruption in their procurement.
“I am also repudiating in my statement to the Commission the lie that the PRASA locomotive tender was corrupt. This is not true and is not supported by any evidence,” he said.
ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe, when asked to respond to the allegations and whether they have processes in place to avoid getting tainted donations, said he could not comply as he was taking part in a meeting of the national working committee of the ruling party.
Efforts to get comment from Gomes and Swifambo on Monday also failed. The company is currently being liquidated and media reports suggest that Gomes and her husband, Carlos, have since left the country.