The son of former SAA head Dudu Myeni – Thalente Myeni – cannot recall the details of his role in a Mpumalanga development project from which his company received a R2-million payment in June 2015, the state capture inquiry heard on Monday.
“I can’t recall” was his response to most questions about various aspects of the project.
The project was aimed at building housing for workers, nurses and teachers, among others.
It is Myeni’s version that his corporation, Premier Attraction 1064, was subcontracted by a company called VNA to carry out design consultancy work as part of the project.
However, VNA owner, Durban businessman Vikash Narsai, provided the commission with documents that suggested that Premier Attraction was the original developer.
On Monday, evidence leader advocate Kate Hofmeyr probed whether Myeni had records relating to the project.
He responded: “I cannot recall but there would have been a written record, maybe.
“We have no records of the actual project.
“We do not keep records that long. We do not anticipate that we would be asked about it five years later.”
Hofmeyr put it to Myeni: “He (Narsai) says that you appointed various consultants and you approached VNA to take over the project in 2015 and it is because you handed over reports, VNA owes you R2 million. He has documents to support this version.”
Myeni responded: “Mr Narsai is being dishonest.”
Hofmeyr probed further, asking why the client had given Myeni documents to give to VNA, the main contractor according to his version, when he was a subcontractor. Again, Myeni could not recall.
“I can’t answer that question. I have no idea. I can’t tell you why – I was part of the project and I had a relationship with the developer prior to this development,” he said.
The commission also heard that following the R2-million payment to Premier Attraction, it paid three amounts, totalling more than R3 million, to an entity called Isibonelo.
A payment of R1 million was paid on October 24, 2015, just over R1 million was paid on December 11, 2015, and another R1 million was paid on February 2, 2016. Myeni could not recall what these were for.
Hofmeyr put it to him that a witness would testify in-camera after the lunch adjournment that the payments had “nothing to do with business”.
“The in-camera witness will say that your mother Ms [Dudu] Myeni called him after those deposits were made and instructed him what to do with the money. She asked that cash be withdrawn and made available to her, and she asked for other monies to be paid to the Jacob Zuma Foundation,” Hofmeyr said.
“I have no knowledge of this. This does not make sense,” Myeni responded.
Thalente Myeni completed his evidence.
The inquiry will continue after the lunch adjournment.