News / South Africa / State Capture

Makhosandile Zulu
2 minute read
30 Sep 2019
12:54 pm

Bheki Cele rumoured to have awarded tenders to businessman, witness tells Zondo

Makhosandile Zulu

The witness says he assumed that R40,000 he had in cash was paid to the minister, however, he could not confirm this.

Minister of Police Bheki Cele. Picture: EPA-EFE/NIC BOTHMA

Ex-crime intelligence member Colonel Dhanajaya Naidoo told the chairperson of the commission of inquiry into state capture, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, of rumours that current police minister Bheki Cele was allegedly involved in the awarding of tenders to Durban businessman Timmy Marimuthu.

Naidoo told Zondo that through conversations with colleagues “over a period of time”, he heard rumours that when Cele was the MEC for transport in KwaZulu-Natal, he was allegedly involved in Marimuthu receiving tenders which benefited Marimuthu.

Naidoo said Marimuthu was a former cop who was convicted of dealing drugs but never served any jail time.

Naidoo said the chief financial officer (CFO) of the secret services account (SSA) was Major General Solomon Lazarus, who at some stage had resisted from being transferred from the position.

Naidoo said he felt Lazarus’ resisted being transferred out of SSA because the new person would be exposed to the corruption taking place with the secret state slush fund used by crime intelligence.

“He was never transferred from that position,” Naidoo said.

Lazarus had told Naidoo about the former’s meetings with Cele.

Naidoo said that in early 2009 or 2010, he attended a meeting at Marimuthu’s house in Umhlanga Rocks, Durban, which was attended by Cele, Lazarus and Marimuthu.

The commission heard that Lazarus was waiting for Cele and that closer to the time that Cele arrived, Lazarus said to Naidoo that it was not easy to organise a meeting with the former MEC.

Lazarus then made a call to FM08 to organise cash, which Naidoo assumed would be paid over to Cele when he arrived at the meeting.

Naidoo said that after the call he informed Lazarus that he had R40,000 that he had taken from crime intelligence head office, which he assumed was paid to Cele and he handed over to Lazarus.

However, Zondo told the witness that his testimony should contain fewer assumptions and more facts.

Naidoo said he assumed the money was for Cele because they had been at Marimuthu’s house for quite some time and Lazarus had called to arrange the money only when the minister was due to arrive.

He said he further assumed the money was paid to Cele because Lazarus did not give him back the money.

Naidoo said no reason was given to him why the meeting would be convened.

The testimony continues, watch live courtesy of the SABC:

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